Environmental monitoring observatory for the Bay of Sept-Îles


©Port de Sept-Îles

The management tools developed by INREST and its scientific collaborators (several universities in Quebec and numerous researchers) allow to meet provincial and federal government objectives in terms of sustainable development and conservation of the St. Lawrence ecosystems.

The “Enviro-Actions” management model, created based on the requirements of the industry and businesses, aims to establish a preventative management mode rather than an intervention-based management, through the implantation of environmental monitoring observatories and setting up data collection.

The bay of Sept-Îles hosts one of the largest ports in Canada, as well as world-class businesses in its surrounding area. In the current context of industrial development around the bay, it seemed essential to assess the state of the local environment. That is why the Observatory was created in 2013. Phases I, II & III were carried out from 2013 to 2017.


Restricted to the harbour limits (i.e. either side of the bay of Sept-Îles and its archipelago), meaning from the mouth of Ste-Marguerite River to the mouth of Moisie River.

This observatory, established and managed under the direction of INREST, allows to monitor the bay of Sept-Îles’ ecosystem in the long-term.

Zone d'étude de l'Observatoire ©INREST| Port de Sept-Îles


  • Understand the current state of the bay
  • Measure and predict environmental impacts on the bay’s ecosystem
  • Monitor the evolution of various analyzed components over the short-, medium-, and long-term, by establishing an environmental monitoring procedure
  • Equip stakeholders for decision-making and environmental management, for the purpose of sustainable development
  • Meet expectations and concerns from stakeholders


  • Water quality (physical-chemistry, biology, and contaminants
  • Sediments (physical-chemistry and grain size)
  • Benthic community
  • Eelgrass beds
  • Marine mammals
  • Macroalgae
  • Zooplankton
  • Marine currents and sediment transport
  • Luminosity
  • Ice cover
  • Municipal and industrial landfills

INREST led Phases I and II of the environmental observatory in collaboration with the Observatoire Global du St-Laurent (OGSL), the Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER), as well as the Université du Quebec à Rimouski (UQAR).

Progress reports and the full report on the findings of the observatory are available to download at the bottom of this page (available in French only). 


Scientific partners

Financial partners

In-kind contributions

  • Environnement SCN : lended laboratory space, equipment and labour
  • Réserve navale NSCM Jolliet : lended a boat and captain
  • Association des pêcheurs de Sept-Îles : lended pier space, access to electricity and drinkable water
  • SIMEC : lended pier space
  • Port de Sept-Îles : workforce
  • AMIK : workforce
  • Comité ZIP Côte-Nord du Golfe : workforce
  • ITUM : workforce
  • Le Marin : discounts on nautical products
  • Équipement et outillage Côte-Nord : discounts on trailer rental
  • Ensemencement Côte-Nord : lended workforce and equipment
  • Bouchard & Blanchette Marine (BB Marine) : donated equipment
  • Hubert Besnier, avocats: legal advice
  • Les Croisières du Capitaine : collaboration as part of the study on marine mammals
  • Le Végétarien : access to the bay
  • NousTV : Documentary
  • Claudy Deschênes : underwater pictures and personal time
  • Jacques Gélineau : pictures and videos – Documentary
  • Serge Gallienne, boat captain; donated equipment
  • Julien Picherit, Jean Reynaud, Cindy Robichaud, Nancy Csikos, Fanny Lescouzeres, Camille Lavoie Lavoie : workforce
Close Menu