September 18, 2007
Central Laurentides Natural Province and St. Lawrence Estuary
09 – North Shore (Province of Québec)
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY COUNTIES (RCM)
Manicouagan (74.5 % of the territory), Caniapiscau (15.8 %), Sept-Rivières (9.7 %)
About 31,000 inhabitants
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY AND NITASSINAN
Baie-Trinité, Chute-aux-Outardes, Franquelin, Godbout, Pointe-aux-Outardes, Pointe-Lebel, Ragueneau
LAND AND AQUATIC PROTECTED AREAS
7.9% of the designated territory, including the Uapishka biodiversity reserve and the projected Manicouagan aquatic reserve
DOMAIN OF VEGETATION
Balsam fir-white birch stand, spruce-moss stand, peat bogs, and alpine arctic tundra (Groulx Mountains)
MAIN ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Hydroelectricity and primary aluminium production, forest industry, mining industry, commercial fishing and navigation, tourism.
ICONIC WILDLIFE SPECIES
woodland caribou, American marten, brook trout or brook char, Atlantic salmon, landlocked salmon and rock vole
EXCEPTIONAL GEOLOGICAL SITES
Pointe-des-Monts (lithologic site), Rivière-aux-Anglais (fossil site) and the Cannelures-de-Baie-Comeau (ice-shaped landforms and contours)
Our Distinctive Features
The Eye of Quebec
Some 214 million years ago, a meteorite eight kilometres in diameter struck the Earth where today Quebec’s largest ecological reserve is located, on René-Levasseur Island. Visible from space, the resulting “Eye of Quebec” is a crater about a hundred kilometre wide and one of the largest astroblemes in the world.
The Big Industry
The region’s modern economic development has been closely tied to its abundant natural resources. Forests first brought McCormick to the area with his paper mill and hydroelectric power plant. Later came an aluminum smelter, drawn by the energy potential of the nearby rivers. Pulp and paper, hydroelectricity and aluminum smelting are still the three pillars of the local industry.
The Land of Giants
The Daniel-Johnson (Manic 5) Dam is the world’s largest multiple-arch buttress dam. It dominates the surrounding area and has become a symbol of Quebec’s modern technical ingenuity. The system of dams built on the Manicouagan-Uapishka’s powerful rivers accounts for close to a quarter of the province’s hydroelectricity production.
Local residents call it “the river” or even “the sea.” The mixing of fresh water from the great rivers and the salty water of the gulf is suitable to the proliferation of phytoplankton—the first link in the food chain. The St. Lawrence Estuary is a very rich and productive marine environment and home to an abundance of species, including one of the largest mammals on the planet—the rorqual.
The MUWBR is entirely located within the traditional territory of the Innu community of Pessamit, known as Nitassinan. For the Innu, their territory has no specific borders, but it is generally recognized as covering the north shore of the St. Lawrence, between the Portneuf and Trinité Rivers and into the backcountry past the Uapishka and Otish Mountains. Nitassinan means “our land” in Innu-aimun.
The Uapishka Mountains
The Innu name for the Groulx Mountains is Uapishka, meaning “white summits,” since snow covers them nine months a year. The massif forms a five-thousand-square-kilometre island of alpine arctic tundra rising out of the surrounding Boreal Forest, more than ten times the size of the Island of Montréal.