Assessing the role of integrated research and monitoring tools in remediation efforts at Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin areas of cencern: A case study of the Cornwall remedial action plan
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In accordance with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the governments of Canada and the United States have agreed to support the remediation of 43 Areas of Concern (AOC) where “failure [to meet objectives of the agreement] has caused or is likely to cause impairment of beneficial use or of the area’s ability to support aquatic life.” A Remedial Action Plan (RAP) has been created for each AOC that outlines how impairments are to be addressed. This research report is focused on one such plan, the Bay of Quinte RAP, as a case study to explore the impact of communicating research and monitoring on realizing the aims of the policy. Research included a literature review encompassing existing works about Great Lakes RAPs and the Bay of Quinte watershed, semi-structured interviews with project leaders and community stakeholders and attendance at a research and monitoring forum. Findings indicate that tracking trends, valuing monitoring, promoting stakeholder cooperation, collaborating with other RAPs and informing management and decision making are key outcomes of shared science at the Bay of Quinte. Lessons learned are instructive for any groups conducting ecosystem restoration or management programs, particularly those involved in any of the 40 other RAPs still underway on the Great Lakes.