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Management Plan

Strategic direction for protecting and presenting the natural environment

Grosse Île will continue to be the subject of studies and monitoring designed to gain further information and insight into the species and ecosystems present on the island for the purpose of protecting them – fragile species and habitats in particular.

Sustainable development

For more than 160 years, Grosse Île has been the site of various types of human occupation. Each of these uses has produced impacts on the environment. Rehabilitation of each of the 22 degraded sites on the island is intended to recover a harmonious landscape and the most natural conditions possible. The rehabilitation plan for degraded sites will serve as a framework for future actions and interventions. Accordingly, sites will be restored so that they no longer represent a danger for visitors and the environment. The visual quality of degraded sites will be corrected with a view to visitors’ comfort and enjoyment. The invasion of sites by harmful and exotic vegetation will be controlled.

Within the framework of its day-to-day operations, Parks Canada must opt for judicious environmental practices. Island operations must respect the mandate that the Canadian government has set itself in terms of making its activities more environmentally friendly. Improving the environmental stewardship of Grosse Île will entail enacting tangible measures, primarily with respect to waste management. As part of the general management of the island, a series of actions will be adopted to conform with environmental norms, corrective action, responsible behavior and environmental management.

Plant management

Grosse Île is home to a remarkable variety of biophysical resources, belonging primarily in the plant kingdom. Woods cover a major proportion of the island and, with respect to the classification used in connection with forest fires, include five types of stands. The risks of fire among these stands must be kept at an acceptable level, and steps must be taken to maintain an organization capable of fighting a stage-1 fire. In addition, attention must be devoted to the prevention measures, for the benefit of visitors and historic resources alike.

In terms of habitat protection, the potential impact on introduced plants is an important factor to consider. Approximately 24% of the island’s plants are considered to be “introduced” – a high percentage in comparison with other protected environments. Thus, in the medium term, it will be crucial to assess the representativeness of introduced species among all island habitats, particularly so in the case of ecologically rich environments or fragile environments. It will be of utmost importance to control purple loosestrife in a number of degraded environments, where this plant has been particularly invasive.

During the past several decades, Grosse Île was home to a major stand of American elm, which was decimated following the spread of Dutch elm disease in the region. Thus, the treatment program should be maintained in order to protect this ornamental resource, which played a key role in the landscapes of the island’s southern sector. Parks Canada will replace any ornamental tree that is felled in this zone, unless such a measure conflicts with the protection of the cultural resources currently extant.

Furthermore, Grosse Île is a particularly rich environment in terms of the diversity of its habitats and species. Since Parks Canada took charge of the island, two surveys have been conducted for the purpose of identifying and above all locating rare plants. The majority of valued plants are located in the upper section of the shoreline (tidal area). Increased numbers of visitors and expanded development in the southern sector could produce impacts on these resources. As a result, Parks Canada will ensure the conservation of fragile habitats so as to keep these resources intact for future generations. In addition, a management plan for valued plants will be developed so as to provide managers with the tools enabling them to ensure that these species are appropriately conserved.

Finally, given the scope, value and fragility of the natural environment on Grosse Île, natural resources conservation priorities have been established and implemented on a priority basis. Thus, the shoreline will be protected. These priorities will be integrated into a zoning plan similar to that used for national parks. The zoning plan will be prepared and integrated into the management plan when it is next updated.

Preservation and presentation concept

Respecting the spirit of the place
Comprehensive and specific view of history
Nature-culture approach
Grosse Île: looking to the future

Management objectives and key actions

Ensuring the commemorative integrity of the site

Cultural landscapes
Built heritage
Archaeological resources
Commemorative plaques and monuments
Movable cultural resources
Communicating the site’s messages and heritage values

Visitor services


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada facilities

Preserving and presenting the natural environment

Shared management of the site