Accomplishments of the Société d’aménagement du Parc des îles-de-la-Paix
Since 1991, the Society has tried various ways to raise money, in order to put in place protective measures for the islands. The Society also serves as a facilitator for consultation and for public awareness, and acts as a bridge between the various partners involved in the ongoing efforts to save the Iles-de-la-Paix.
Since its creation, the Society tried different protection measures, including a shore retention project in which a stone-filled gabion was used and a willow mattress was planted. This project did not withstand the waves over time, and totally disappeared after a few years. In 1997, noting the need for stronger protective structures, the Society developed a more efficient method to protect the islands from the waves. Stone seawalls were chosen as they close the breaches between the islands, protect the shorelines and recreate fish-friendly areas. These seawalls, also called breakwaters, are covered with willows (Salix exigua) which stop the proliferation of cormorants and add to the beautiful rustic scenery of the archipelago.
Here is a summary of the Society's accomplishments:
January 2001: Construction, via a snow and ice bridge, of a 235-meter seawall closing the breach between the île du Gardien and the île à Tambault. This seawall closes up part of the Diable channel and creates a fish spawning ground, which in 2009 sheltered eight times more minnows than any other part of the archipelago.
March 2009: The Society for the Protection of Parc des Iles-de-la-Paix has been discussing with the promoters of the new highway 30, NA30 CJV, since 2009 to ask for their contribution in protecting the Îles-de-la-Paix. The federal Fisheries Act forbids any undertaking or activity that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat. Any such activity or undertaking constitutes a violation of article 35(1) of this law and the subsequent losses or disruptions have to be compensated. Therefore, in accordance with this legislation, NA30 CJV should compensate for the disruptions to the environment caused by the construction of bridges for highway 30. Continued in November 2012.
November 2009: Construction of a 200-meter seawall recreating a 5,000 square meter spawning ground and protecting part of the île aux Faubert, also called Grande Île. For this project, the stone was transported with a barge and a tug-boat.
February 2011: Construction of an ice bridge to carry stones to the île aux Faubert and protect 285 meters of shoreline.
November 2012: Construction by NA30 CJV of four seawalls (breakwaters) in front of the Diable channel, North of the Islands, in Beauharnois. These seawalls create a vast fish spawning ground and will help stop the erosion of that part of the islands.
June 2013: Construction of a fifth seawall by the Society, which aligns with NA30 CJV project, to protect an extra 20 000 meters of surface area. With this last step, the Îles-de-la-Paix are protected up to the Cardinal channel, which represents half of the archipelago.