The port has taken numerous steps and is set up in a way that demonstrates our commitment to the people who use our facilities and services, our partners, and nearby community members.
Completion of the Anse Brown building’s new green roof
We completely redid the green roof of the main building at the Anse Brown Basin. We were able to save certain plants while also planting new ones. We carefully selected species based on where they would be planted and their arrangement within the space. The curve-like layout of the plants represents rippling water. The tall, light species move with the wind. This new planting will brighten the visits of the walkers who wander through and provide an outstanding variety of plants for attracting insects, especially bees.
Planting of a border around the Strøm Nordic Spa parking lot
We created this plan in 2019 and the planting to beautify the area should take place in 2020. The area will be planted with native species that we selected specifically for their ability to grow in an urban setting in order to camouflage the parking lot and hide the light emitted by headlights and lampposts.
Planting Beauport Bay with the Association Forestière des Deux Rives
We launched the Trame Verte project to create a greenbelt and an educational program for the Beauport Bay sector.
The goal is to implement greening initiatives in Beauport Bay and promote a connection between the natural and built environments in the area, help protect biodiversity, anchor port activities in the community, increase environmental awareness, interpret environmental and social elements, and reduce our carbon footprint. The project creates areas of naturalized land by planting and densifying green spaces while respecting existing zones.
This project is a collaboration with the Association Forestière des Deux Rives and the Fonds d’Action Saint-Laurent.
So far, we’ve planted 422 trees, 1,181 shrubs, and 1,515 herbaceous plants with the help of 155 volunteers. We would like to thank Fonds d’Action Saint-Laurent (FASL), TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), and Earth Day Canada (Tomorrow’s Forest) as well as employees from Siemens, Englobe, and the Association Forestière des Deux Rives (AF2R) for participating in this project.
Groupe d’Éducation et d’Écosurveillance de l’Eau (G3E), in collaboration with the QPA, organized this initiative to foster respect for the wetlands in Beauport Bay. It gave participants an opportunity to inventory the plants and animals in the area with the help of experts specialized in identifying the species they were finding. It also included organized interpretive events, booths, and talks.
Sapling distribution day
A sapling distribution day was held at the Port of Québec on May 24, 2019 to celebrate Arbour Month. The day was a success, with 1,000 free trees handed out to city residents, Port users, and QPA employees.
Removal of ash trees sickened or killed by the emerald ash borer
This past year, we cut down and removed the stumps of a total of 50 ash trees that were sick or had died due to the emerald ash borer infestation. Fifty trees will be planted in 2020 to replace the ash trees we cut down. We selected native tree species according to their disease resistance and site conditions.
Protecting healthy ash trees
To help slow the emerald ash borer infestation, we brought on GDG Environnement, which is working on a research protocol to fight the spread of this destructive pest. This protocol involves setting traps to catch the borer and coat it with an organic fungus that kills the insect a few days later. These insects also become vectors that can spread the fungus to other adult borers. In 2019, GDG Environnement set 15 traps in Beauport Bay, which hosts a large number of healthy ash trees. The results have shown that this has had a positive effect in the sector.
Asian gypsy moth survey
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) set three traps in strategic spots at the Port of Québec to survey whether there are Asian gypsy moths in Québec City. The results were negative, and the agency found no traces of the insect.
Water management plan
We continued our efforts to outline and implement a detailed water management plan. We drilled nine new monitoring wells to monitor groundwater quality. These new wells bring the total number of permanent monitoring wells being used on QPA land to 16 in the Beauport, Estuary, and Anse au Foulon sectors. This network of permanent monitoring wells will help regularly monitor changes in groundwater quality when water levels peak in the spring and are at their lowest in the summer.
Circular economy project with the Ville de Québec to plant a lawn at the Strøm Spa parking lot
With support from the Conseil Régional de l’Environnement (CRE) – Capitale-Nationale, we completed a circular economy project in conjunction with Englobe and the Ville de Québec to plant a lawn at the Strøm Spa parking lot in Anse Brown. The circular economy concept limits the use and waste of raw materials by turning one person’s residual materials into someone else’s new raw materials. The goal of the project was to find a new use for the material excavated during municipal road work. To achieve this goal, Englobe turned the city’s excavated material into a rich soil using compost made from local organic material. We used a total of nearly 300 tonnes of soil to green the parking lot.
Beauport Bay shoreline cleanup
In May 2019, 38 QPA and QSL volunteers helped clean up the shoreline of Beauport Bay and collected dozens of bags of trash.
Louise Basin cleanup
In July 2019, we teamed up with Plongée Nautilus to clean up the Louise Basin and the basin’s shoreline. We encouraged residents to use it as an opportunity to accompany a team of experienced divers. In all, 80 participants helped remove 836 kg of all kinds of debris, half of which was plastic.
We hired a consulting firm to devise and implement a noise management plan for the port. This management plan will help ensure better control of port activity-related noise for the surrounding area. In fall 2019, we converted all the reversing alarms on our wheeled equipment to new white noise alarm systems, which create a more directed sound that dissipates quickly outside the hazard area. This change has helped reduce potential noise disturbances caused directly by our activities.
Following a 2017 analysis to determine the best way to manage contaminated soil at the port, in 2018, we conducted toxicological and ecotoxicological assessments as part of our risk management approach, which is environmentally friendly and emphasizes employee health. This approach allows us to develop a unique soil management plan for each project to maximize the reuse of excavated soil and limit off-site transport and disposal as much as possible. Working this way helps reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants from excavating equipment and transporting soil. The reduction in volume also helps keep contaminated soil from being stored long-term in landfills and thereby reduces its environmental impact. Using our risk management approach, we completed two project-specific soil management plans in 2019.
Wildlife – Artificial bank swallow nesting banks
e continued to monitor the artificial bank swallow nesting banks at the port in 2019. We used two artificial nesting banks of our own design and counted 84 clutches. Interestingly, the nesting rate this past year was higher in the newer nesting bank.
First year of Notice NQ-11 – Environmental Protection Fee implementation
Notice NQ-11 – Environmental Protection Fee applies to all goods handled within the Jurisdictional Boundaries of the Québec Port Authority and to all cruise lines (fee per passenger). These fees are applied to help improve operations as they relate to respecting and protecting the environment, including, but not limited to, the acquisition and maintenance of control and monitoring equipment, the management of contaminated soil and sediment, and spill response.
Respecting and preserving the environment are two of our top priorities, which is why we are a member of Green Marine, an ambitious environmental program for the Canadian and American maritime industries. To learn more about Green Marine and find out our ranking, please visit their website at green-marine.org.
Several other initiatives were undertaken in 2019 as part of the QPA's Sustainable Development Plan. You can read about them in the document: Evolution of the Québec Port Authority's Sustainable Development Action Plan for 2019 (available only in French).