Friends of the Gatineau River / Les Amis de la rivière Gatineau was founded in 1991 as it became evident that, with the removal of the log drive, the river was being threatened by more high speed power boats/ seadoos and growing shoreline development. It was also clear water quality of the lower Gatineau river was dependent on effective individual and community sewage treatment systems.
Since then, FOG/ARG, a community-based volunteer lead organization has tackled the following issues:
1996-2000 campaign to successfully introduce boating speed limits via provincial and federal regulation covering La Pêche, Cantley and Chelsea municipalities.
Started a water quality testing program as a public service to build public awareness of river issues. The results are published in local media and data has been tracked since 1999. The program respects provincial scientific standards and is supported by river clubs and associations and the municipalities of Cantley, Chelsea and La Pêche. We have expanded to monitor other river quality parameters. Gatineau remains one of the cleanest major rivers in Southern Quebec! In fact, it has improved over the past fifteen years.
Successfully participated in a community coalition opposing the contruction of a septage treatment plant on the shore of the Gatineau. Alternative options were identified, leading to the withdrawal of the project and thereby protecting the integrity of the Gatineau River after a three year public debate.
Working with other watershed partner organizations such Ottawa Riverkeeper and ABV des 7 to share water quality data and participate in river focused programs. FOG/ARG participated in first Lower Gatineau River planning exercises and in 2005 became a Riverwatch organization.
We organize an annual river paddle/river festival event to celebrate the Gatineau and build awareness of river issues. We have collaborated with the local historical society, GVHS, to develop a historical river guide identifying historical sites on the lower Gatineau for paddlers and residents along the river.
FOG / ARG continues to encourage and support the peaceful enjoyment of our river by speaking out on river issues,promoting conservation and building community awareness and support for best practices.