5.5 Protecting and Presenting Natural Components
At the Saint-Ours Canal, protecting nature primarily involves conserving the surrounding environmental habitat, where visitors can pursue cultural and recreational activities. The only natural resources of particular interest are the woods on Darvard Island and the fish species in the Richelieu River.
Measures to protect fish are justified owing to both the rich variety of species and the endangered status of some of them, such as the copper redhorse. In fact, the Saint-Ours Canal management plan recognizes the heritage value of the Richelieu River as much in terms of the culture and history as of the wildlife to be found there. Considering the values thus ascribed to these resources, the dam and the new fish ladder harbours considerable potential for interpreting the river’s wildlife.
With the objective of achieving maximum effectiveness, the fish ladder was built to include an observation area and a capture area and thus allow visitors to further discover and appreciate this feature of the site’s natural heritage. However, Parks Canada cannot finance the interpretation project on its own and needs to involve other partners.
In addition, particular attention will be devoted, on the one hand, to preserving the stands of red pine on Darvard Island so as to ensure their sustainability and, on the other, to maintaining access to the pathways so as to enhance the appreciation of this resource by visitors.
General protection measures will be accorded to other, less exceptional aspects of the natural environment.