Baie Sainte-Marguerite multi-species reef project

ArcelorMittal Exploitation minière Canada s.e.n.c. (AMEM) est le plus important fournisseur canadien de minerai de fer destiné au marché mondial de l’acier.

As part of the ten-year dredging program at our Port-Cartier harbour facilities, we wish to establish a habitat reserve to compensate for any damage that may occur during the implementation of the maintenance program at our facilities.

To this end, the construction of multi-species artificial reefs is envisaged in order to compensate for the losses and disturbances caused, in particular, to the benthic fauna and fish. It is estimated that the total surface area dredged during these 10 years will be of the order of 54,000 m² and at most 360,000 m² (3.6 ha), i.e. the surface area equivalent to the entire port and navigation channel. Thus, a development must be carried out in order to make up for the direct and indirect losses in and around the work area. At the end of the project, it is expected that 225 concrete structures will be installed in three separate 800 m² islands to provide a fixation substrate for kelp. The 1.3 m x 1.3 m and 0.7 m high structures will be transported by float to the storage site and then installed in the bay by helicopter slinging.

This structure will promote the establishment of multiple species of fish and shellfish in an area that is currently poor due to the lack of structural complexity of the environment. It will be nothing less than an island of life in the center of the bay where organisms, including some commercially valuable species, will find food, shelter, resting, rearing or breeding areas.

This is a compensation project related to the regular maintenance dredging of our Port-Cartier harbour. This dredging must be done to ensure safety and to maintain an adequate depth for the proper circulation of ships. This project was the subject of a consultation by the BAPE in September 2020 and all the competent environmental authorities have given their approval.

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