Discovering the natural environment

Features of the territory

Lake Saint-Pierre was designated a biosphere reserve in 2000, as part of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. This international recognition highlights the exceptional natural features of this ecosystem and the importance of implementing sound management practices in the region.

The Lake Saint-Pierre biosphere reserve stretches from Berthier and Sorel-Tracy to Trois-Rivières and Bécancour. It includes the north and south shores of the river and of the lake, the archipelago, and Lake Saint-Pierre itself.

There are 103 islands upstream of Lake Saint-Pierre, which form the largest archipelago in the St. Lawrence.

Lake Saint-Pierre is a fluvial lake along the St. Lawrence. It has a surface area of approximately 500 km2 (35 km long and 15 km wide), but can expand to over 600 km2 during the spring floods. This region features the largest freshwater floodplain in Quebec. Its aquatic plant communities, marshes and swamps represent 50% of all the wetlands of the St. Lawrence. Wetlands improve water quality by filtering the water, and also feature high biodiversity.

Lake Saint-Pierre has an average depth of 3 metres. To allow heavy commercial vessels to navigate the lake, a ship channel 11.3 metres deep and 245 metres wide has been created.

Definition of the terms ecosystem, biosphere and heritage

An ecosystem is an environment where living organisms (plants and animals) interact with inert matter to create an ecological unit.
The biosphere is made up of all the ecosystems on the planet.

Our heritage is what we pass on to future generations. It can take various forms, so a qualifier is often added to the word heritage: natural, world, architectural, rural, linguistic, etc.
Centre d'interprétation de Baie-du-Febvre, Centre de la Biodiversité du Québec, Musée des Abénakis, Musée québécois de culture populaire, Commission scolaire de Sorel-Tracy

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