Wetlands, Waterways, Riverbanks & Protected Zones

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With its lakes and rivers, Quebec is distinguished by its omnipresence of aquatic environments and wetlands. The banks, coasts and flood plains are essential to the survival of rivers and bodies of water.

For this reason, it is essential to obtain a permit from the Municipality for any work, construction or enterprise likely to alter or destroy shoreline vegetation.

What is a riverbank protection zone?

A riverbank protection zone is a permanent natural vegetated area bordering a waterway. This area is a transition zone between the aquatic and terrestrial environments.

The riverbank zone is the last barrier of protection for water bodies. In fact, the trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that make up the riverbank protection zone slow down and filter inputs just before they reach the bodies of water.

What is the shoreline?

The shoreline is the part of the stream or lake that extends from the high water mark to the center of the water body.

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are sites that are saturated with water or flooded for a period of time, long enough to influence soil and vegetation components. Closer to the aquatic environment during floods, the wetland becomes almost a terrestrial environment during droughts.

Although these environments have a bad reputation, they are nonetheless exceptional and useful ecosystems. They are an integral part of the hydrological cycle. Wetlands :

  • Are characterized by high biological productivity;
  • Support habitats for fauna and flora, both terrestrial and aquatic;
  • Act as a natural protection and buffer zone;
  • Serve to filter pollutants and sediments suspended in the water;
  • Act as a natural regulator, holding back excess water, thus reducing the risk of flooding and shoreline erosion. It should not be forgotten that they are also beautiful places conducive to calm and the practice of many leisure activities.
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