While the Port of Québec embodies this vital vector of economic development, its commitment to the community is noteworthy. As a responsible corporate citizen, the Port carries out numerous initiatives, not only with users of its facilities and services, but also with stakeholders and the community.
Whether it is occupational health and safety, environmental initiatives, civic participation, stakeholder relations or outreach with community organizations, the Port balances its economic and social missions.
The Port of Québec’s environmental commitment is sincere and involves all levels of the organization. This includes structuring initiatives to promote greening, the protection of water and shorelines, better management of noise levels, air quality, soils and waste materials.
Bank stabilization and erosion prevention
In June 2020, ZIP Québec, in collaboration with GESTEV and the QPA, carried out revegetation work on the Beauport Bay beach. The result of these tree plantations is to counter shoreline erosion, while greening the landscape. Willow, sand oak, poplar and juniper are some of the plants that enhance our spaces.
Strøm spa nordique parking lot development
To camouflage the parking lot and brightness of car headlights and streetlights, a plantation of native species specially selected for growth in an urban setting took place on the edge of the spa in 2020.
Beauport Bay Tree Plantation
This project was developed, in partnership with the Association forestière des deux rives and the St. Lawrence Action Fund, to promote the deployment of a green framework and educational program in the Beauport Bay area.
This project aims to vegetate the Beauport Bay and promote the connectivity of the site’s natural and developed environments, the protection of biodiversity, the integration of port activities in the community, environmental awareness, the interpretation of environmental and social components and the reduction of the QPA carbon footprint. The project creates naturalized terrestrial environments by developing and densifying vegetation, while respecting areas.
In 2020, 1225 herbaceous plants, 524 shrubs and 15 trees were planted in Beauport Bay. To date, 1515 herbaceous plants, 1181 shrubs and 422 trees have been planted and 155 volunteers have contributed. The QPA would like to thank the St. Lawrence Action Fund (FASL), the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) and Earth Day (Forest Tomorrow), as well as the employees of Siemens, Englobe and the Association forestière des deux rives (AF2R) for their involvement in this project.
Cutting dead and diseased ash trees affected by the emerald ash borer
The QPA planted 50 trees in October 2020. The trees were planted to replace the 50 ash trees that were cut due to being killed or diseased in 2019. Native species of selected trees were selected, in part due to their resistance to disease and environmental conditions.
Protection of Ash Trees in Good Condition
To help curb the emerald ash borer invasion, the QPA gave GDG Environment a mandate for a second consecutive year. This company is working on a research protocol to slow the spread of the devastating insect. This protocol involves installing traps to capture the emerald ash borer and cover it with an organic fungus that eliminates the insect within days. This insect becomes a vector and can transmit the fungus to other adult insects. In 2020, 15 traps were set in Beauport Bay (where there are many ash trees in good condition). Analysis of the results shows that this action has been beneficial to the sector.
Water Management Plan
Over the past year, the QPA has continued its efforts to complete and implement a comprehensive water management plan. In particular, the QPA continued its biennial campaigns to monitor runoff and groundwater quality on its property.
Shoreline and Louise Basin Cleanup
In September 2020, on World Cleanup Day, the QPA and its partners, including the Blue Organization, the G3E and numerous volunteers, joined forces to clean up the shoreline in the Beauport area, the tip of Île Sainte-Pétronille and the Louise Basin. The cleanup of the Louise Basin was carried out thanks to the participation of 40 volunteers, including 18 free divers, who managed to remove no less than 700 kg of debris of all kinds from the basin in three hours. This brings the total amount of debris removed from Louise Basin since 2019 by volunteer divers and free divers to 1536 kg.
Seabin Pilot Project
A Seabin waste collector was installed at the Marina Port in Québec City, the first of its kind in Québec. With its submersible pump, it collects floating waste and retains thin hydrocarbon films on the surface of water and plastic residues as small as two millimetres. Its establishment in the Louise Basin is the result of one of the many commitments made by the Marina Port of Québec to reduce plastics and protect the biodiversity of the St. Lawrence River.
Noise Level Management
A consulting firm has been contracted to develop and implement a sound level management plan for the port territory. This management plan will ensure better noise control for the surrounding area associated with port activities. In addition, in fall 2019, all of the QPA’s rolling stock back-up alarm systems were converted to white noise alarm systems. This new system allows a more directed signal, which fades quickly outside the danger zone. This action contributes to the reduction of potential noise from the direct activities of the QPA.
Publication of PM2.5 particulate matter data for a second measurement station (8th Avenue)
Following analysis conducted in 2017 to determine the best way to manage contaminated soils in port territory, the QPA conducted toxicological and ecotoxicological studies in 2018 as part of a risk management approach.
This new approach, which respects the environment and the health of workers, enables the QPA to develop a project-specific soil management plan, with the objective of maximizing the reuse of excavated soils on site and limiting, wherever possible, transport and off-site disposal. This method reduces the production and emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants associated with excavation equipment and soil transport.
Reducing volumes also helps to avoid the long-term storage of contaminated soils in landfills, thereby reducing their environmental footprint. In 2020, two project-specific land management plans were completed, based on the risk management methodology.
Flora and Fauna
In 2020, the QPA continued to monitor bank swallow nest boxes in its territory. The two nest boxes designed by the QPA were used and a total of 84 nests were counted. Interestingly this year, the nesting rate was higher in the most recent nest box.
Waste Management Plan
In 2020, the QPA obtained the ICI on recycle performance and performance level plus certifications for all of its establishments. This Recyc-Québec program recognizes and honours organizations that are proactive and committed to improving their waste management performance. In addition, the Marina Port de Québec, Beauport Bay and Espaces Dalhousie have been awarded Level 4 of the Défi Saint-Laurent program, a program launched by Stratégie Saint-Laurent aimed at reducing the consumption of plastic products in recreational tourism establishments.
Recyc-Québec highlights the efforts of the Port of Québec, which has resulted in the implementation of 63 measures, including a number of measures aimed at reducing use, reusing and recycling at the Marina!
The QPA attaches great importance to the respect and safeguarding of the environment. As such, the QPA is a member of the Green Marine organization, which has an ambitious environmental agenda for the marine industry in Canada and the United States. To learn more about this organization and the QPA’s ranking, we invite you to visit the Green Marine website at https://green-marine.org/.
The Québec Port Authority is proud to implement environmental and sustainable development practices and technologies that have a direct impact on the ground. These practices and technologies have brought the company to the level of excellence and leadership for the third consecutive year in 2020. It should be noted that the Port of Québec was the first port to reach Level 5 on all applicable indicators since the addition of the waste management indicator in 2018.
Four new information signs
In collaboration with the St. Lawrence Action Fund (FASL), a mandate was granted to the Québec City and Chaudière-Appalaches zone d’intervention prioritaire (ZIP) for the design and production of four information signs, for swimming in the Beauport Bay, fish and waterbird species found in the Beauport area and the Gilmour Cove revitalization project. Designed in 2019, these signs were installed in the affected areas in 2020.
Implementation of Regulation NQ-11 — Tariff of Fees for Environmental Protection
Regulation NQ-11 — Tariff of Fees for the Protection of the Environment is now applicable to all goods handled within the QPA’s jurisdictional limits as well as to all cruise lines (tariff per passenger). These duties are applied in order to contribute to the improvement of operations related to the respect and protection of the environment, in particular for the acquisition and maintenance of monitoring and control equipment, the management of contaminated soil and sediment, spill response, etc.