The Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) is located on the banks of the Ottawa River, approximately 200 kilometres upstream of Ottawa-Gatineau. With a legacy of pollution by radioactive waste, Ottawa Riverkeeper has been tracking the activities and risks associated with the Chalk River Laboratories for many years.
The Ottawa River watershed is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, however habitat threats including the introduction of dams, urban development, and pollution from residential and industrial sources have resulted in population declines for several species. A number of these species are listed as threatened or endangered both provincially and/or federally.
Most of the time, water quality in the Ottawa River is great for recreational activities. However, that is not always the case. When it rains or when snow melts, untreated sewage often flows in the river from combined sewers.
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are typically smaller than 1mm in diameter. They can be found in clothing, fabrics, and other every day products.