St. Lawrence River

St. Lawrence River

Environment Canada

The St. Lawrence hydrographic system, including the Great Lakes, is one of the largest in the world. Its surface area of 1.6 million km2 is the third largest in North America, after the Mississippi and Mackenzie rivers. St. Lawrence river ranks 16th for a mean annual flow, 12600 m3/s just off Quebec City. The geographic position of the St. Lawrence and its physical characteristics make it a significant socio-economic asset for Quebec, Canada, and the industrial heartland of the United States.

The St. Lawrence hydrographic system, including the Great Lakes, is one of the largest in the world. Its surface area of 1.6 million km2 is the third largest in North America, after the Mississippi and Mackenzie rivers. It drains more than 25% of the Earth’s freshwater reserves and influences the environmental processes of the entire North American continent. Over 30 million Americans and 15 million Canadians live in this immense basin.

St. Lawrence river ranks 16th for a mean annual flow, 12600 m3/s just off Quebec City. It is the 17th longest, at 3260 km starting from Lake Superior to the Cabot Strait. The St. Lawrence harbours a complex ecosystem whose physical properties vary from upstream to downstream. .It includes lakes and freshwater reaches, a long estuary, and a gulf with marine features. The area is home to richly diverse habitats and an equally rich diversity of flora and fauna.

The geographic position of the St. Lawrence and its physical characteristics make it a significant socio-economic asset for Quebec, Canada, and the industrial heartland of the United States. The St. Lawrence links the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes and is among the world’s most important commercial waterways.

The St. Lawrence is a priceless jewel of our natural heritage. It has sheltered four Ramsar sites (1971 Convention on Wetlands of International Importance) which among the largest (12000 ha) is located in Lake Saint-Pierre. The same site also has the distinction of having been declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2001.

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http://www.ec.gc.ca/stl/default.asp?Lang=En&n=F46CF5F8-1

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