|The St Lawrence Estuary (SLE) is linked to multiple cities including Quebec City, Longueuil and Montreal, and borders on the United States. The region serves as a site of high-scale international trade and industrial production which places the estuary under immense economic pressure. Industrial practices place the ecosystem of the estuary at risk to multiple sources of waste pollution, including marine vessel noise, chemical discharge and spills. In addition, the municipal governments of the cities mentioned above have periodically approved untreated sewage dumps into the river when pipe repairs are needed. Government officials have said that the billions of litres of raw sewage dumped into the St Lawrence have no negative impact on the ecosystem, despite a lack of comprehensive evidence to support that claim. The sewage dumps have not been proven to be an immediate cause for concern, but ecological consequences typically manifest throughout longer periods of time. A visible consequence of mismanagement of the estuary is the continuous population decline of the St Lawrence Beluga whale. This species has suffered the historical impacts of overhunting throughout European settlement and now suffers from reproductive deficiency caused by industrial chemical pollution. The raw sewage dumps that this project describes have been conducted within the last three years, because of this recency, there is a lack of research available to prove the direct impacts on ecological functions. However, the bioaccumulative effects of now-banned chemicals, such as Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), show us that species and ecosystems suffer from long-term consequences of poor waste management. Sewage contains harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, that can make |
humans very sick. When sewage is released into a waterbody the bacteria
in the sewage take oxygen out of the water which can kill fish and other
aquatic life. The solids suspended in sewage can turn water murky,
further impairing the ability of fish to breath and making it difficult
for them to see.
Sewage also contains diverse range of