The Bay of Quinte is one of the most picturesque bodies of water in Lake Ontario. Its shoreline stretches in a Z-shape from Trenton to Bath for almost 100 kilometers. The Bay’s watershed is the largest in Southern Ontario, over 18,000 square kilometers and includes lands drained by the Trent, Moira, and Napanee rivers and a host of smaller tributaries.
The watershed includes the primarily agricultural based Prince Edward County to the south of the bay. The Trent River is responsible for most of the flow through the bay. The shoreline of the bay includes 19 provincially significant wetlands. About 400,000 people live in the area, with the population concentrated in the cities of Trenton and Belleville, the towns of Napanee, Picton and Deseronto, as well as the Mohawks of Tyendinaga Territory.
The Bay of Quinte was designated an Area of Concern in 1985 under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States. ‘Areas of Concern’ are communities, bays and rivers on the Great Lakes system where human activities have severely damaged the quality of the environment. Currently, there are 10 such designated areas on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes, 26 in the United States, and five that are shared by both countries. In each ‘Area of Concern’, government, community and industry partners are undertaking a coordinated effort to address the environmental challenges through a Remedial Action Plan. The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan and its partners are, successfully, under-taking actions to rehabilitate the Bay.
Environmental concerns in the Bay of Quinte were due to excess nutrients, persistent toxic contamination, bacterial contamination and the loss or destruction of fish and wildlife habitat.
Remedial Action Plan Partners
Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment coordinate implementation of the Remedial Action Plans for all Areas of Concern. Since 1997, implementation of recommended actions for the Bay of Quinte area has been facilitated by members of the Bay of Quinte Restoration Council. Other members of the Council include (in alphabetical order): Department of National Defence; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Lower Trent Conservation; Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte; Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; and Quinte Conservation
For more information about the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, visit www.bqrap.ca.