Nuclear Waste

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 Hickorynut

The Hickorynut (Obovaria olivaria) is a species of freshwater mussel that calls the Ottawa River home. Due to a combination of threats including the invasive Zebra Mussel, as well as declining levels of the Lake Sturgeon, declines in Hickorynut distribution and populations have been seen across its North American range. Ottawa Riverkeeper is working on a project to help protect the Hickorynut.

The American eel

The American eel was once the dominant fish species in the Ottawa River. In the past 40 years, it has declined by 99% and, along with it, so has the appreciation for its rich historical, ecological and cultural values within the watershed. Ottawa Riverkeeper and its allies will not accept the continued decimation of this iconic species.

Sewage Overflows

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.