Boating in Canada Archive

St. Lawrence Islands Park Newsletter 2002

Spring 2002

" No where on the continent of North America, or for that matter in the world, is there a national park of equal beauty and magnitude as the Canadian Thousand Islands. That it should be preserved intact no statesman will hesitate to deny. From Brockville to Kingston our citizens are unanimously in favour of its retention in a state of nature....."
    - Sir John A. McDonald, July 12, 1877
    - Excerpt from the Brockville Recorder September 6, 1877

Sir John A. McDonald was speaking on the concerns held by citizens that the islands would successively fall into private hands and the public would be denied the opportunity to experience and enjoy their beauty.

The special attributes of the Thousand Islands have been both a blessing and a curse. The uniqueness of few islands set aside as St. Lawrence Islands National Park is becoming more and more apparent as natural areas are converted to residential and private recreational uses. The impact of general growth throughout the region continues to impair the quality of the public's experience of the area and the integrity of the natural values that were the reasons leading to the creation of the national park as a legacy to future generations. The Canadian Nature Federation recently identified St. Lawrence Islands National Park as one on the 10 most vulnerable national parks in Canada due to several factors including overuse, water quality in the river and residues from faulty waste treatment and industrial activity. At St. Lawrence Islands National Park we are doing what we can to ensure our children will have a park to visit and to maintain the integrity of natural areas as habitat for plants and animals that are becoming increasingly rare and over stressed. When research concludes that facilities and public use are negatively affecting priority natural or cultural resources, decisions will be made with the objective of protection of the resources at risk. The public will be informed of the reasons for these actions. This Spring the facilities on the West end of Endymion Island and the interior trail will be closed following 10 years of discussion and research including a four year project to assess visitor impacts. The policy will be to relocate services to less sensitive areas where possible. We are examining options for relocating services. The public swimming area at Mallorytown Landing will not be opened this year due to persistently high coliform counts presumed to be from upstream sources. Many of the same stressors impacting on the park affect the integrity of natural resources throughout the region. Parks Canada will be emphasizing co-operation with other government agencies and citizen groups to work together to promote a healthier ecosystem. This will involve joint environmental research, information sharing and other ventures to inform, educate and involve both the area residents and the visiting public. Over the next few years there will be new initiatives and opportunities for concerned people to become involved.

On May 31 and June 1, St. Lawrence Islands National Park will be opening its doors for a public open house. I cordially invite you to come to Mallorytown Landing to meet the people who work at the park and find out who we are and what we do. We are also asking a few of our partners to participate and this will provide a great opportunity to become aware of the activities of the citizen groups and agencies involved in public safety protection, ecosystem management and the preservation of the natural and cultural legacy of the Thousand Islands area.

Sir John A McDonald proudly stated: " From Brockville to Kingston our citizens are unanimously in favour of its ( Canadian Thousand Islands) retention in a state of nature.." This collective support was needed then and is critical now to protect what remains of the unique and fragile natural areas that made the Thousand Islands a source of national pride.

" Every time history repeats its self, the price goes up!"
    - Anonymous Quote

Yours Sincerely
Gord Giffin

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