About Us

For thirty years, we have been the voice and eyes of the Gatineau River.

 

Fog water sampling
Cantley Eco Event

Our Story

The Friends of the Gatineau River (FOG) is an independent, not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization working with residents, the business community, and governmental partners to protect and improve the Gatineau River for future generations.

We were founded in 1991, just after the end of the log drive, to address the threats to the river posed by increased power boating, shoreline development, and ineffective sewage treatment systems.

Our Goals

Monitor

Expand a network of river watchers and use scientific testing and surveying programs to pinpoint problems and monitor the indicators of water quality and the health of the river ecosystem.

Advocate

Foster partnerships with people and organizations with common goals.

Advocate with municipal governments for the development and enforcement of regulations protecting the river.

Educate

Develop educational content and run awareness-building campaigns for residents, schools, politicians and municipal staff, realtors, and developers.

Celebrate

Celebrate our beautiful river with community events and collaborations with local musical and visual artists. Events include our annual Riverfest, fundraising concerts, and our Annual General Meeting. 

 Volunteer Board of Directors

Friends of the Gatineau Board Members

Rita Jain

President (volunteer since 2017)

Patrick Henry

Secretary and Director of Membership & Volunteers (volunteer since 2005)

Ronnie Drever

Director of Science & Policy (volunteer since 2005)

Mark Libby

Director of Data Analysis (volunteer since 2018)

Steve Ferguson

Vice President, Director Water Quality Monitoring and River Watch (volunteer since 2005)

Bente Baklid

Treasurer (volunteer since 2021)

Jasper Boychuk

(volunteer since 2018)

Some of Our Accomplishments

Boat Speeds

From 1996-2000, we successfully campaigned to introduce boating speed limits via provincial and federal regulation covering La Pêche, Cantley and Chelsea municipalities; however, Transport Canada did not set sufficiently low speed limits.

Water Quality Monitoring

In 1999, we started a water quality testing program as a public service to build public awareness of river issues. The program respects provincial scientific standards and is supported by river clubs and associations and the municipalities of Cantley, Chelsea and La Pêche. We expanded to monitor other river quality parameters. The Gatineau remains one of the cleanest major rivers in Southern Quebec!

Septic Treatment Plants

We successfully participated in a community coalition opposing the construction of a septic treatment plant on the shore of the Gatineau River. During a three-year public debate, alternative options were identified, leading to the withdrawal of the project, thereby protecting the integrity of the Gatineau River.

Riverfest Celebrations

Most of the past twenty years, we organized an annual river paddle and festival event to celebrate the Gatineau and build awareness of river issues. We partner with local municipalities, musicians, artists. and businesses to create a unique event each year.

Publications

We collaborated with the Gatineau Valley Historical Society (GVHS) to develop the Gatineau River Heritage River Paddle: A Guide for paddlers and boaters to increase awareness of our river’s rich heritage – both historical and environmental.

Our Volunteers & Contributers

Previous Board members 

Malcolm McHattie, Alain Piche, Neil Faulkner, Lydia Makuch Phillips, Jennifer Leichnitz, Paul Pestieau, Warren Major, Terry Gray, John Lowden, Muriel How, Jamie Linton, Doug Hyde, James Sistie, Earl Hansen, Phil Cohen, Noah Fuad, Nicole Desroches, Bruce Lister

 

New Website

Tanya Fader, Bob McCallum

 

Translation and Interpretation

Helen Brazeau, Josee Cantin, Annick Landry

 

WakedUp Fundraiser

Paul Symes, Carsten Podehl, Chris Honneiger, Rhonda Arsenault, Brian Mullin, Jean Boudreau and the rest of the band

 

Riverfest 2019

Ed Hanrahan, Garth Hamilton, Alex Christie, Christina Bailey, Jessica Ferling, Tasha, Bonnie Vanasse, Sue Bramley, Janet Intscher,
Alexandra Bobek, Meredith Brown, Pierre QuiRoule, Christine Skladany, Donna Ward, Josee Cantin, Genvieve Fortin, Bente Baklid, Mathieu Hanlon, Paula Duhamel, Mark Leahy, Barry Nesbitt, Paulette Saltman, Michel Babin, Elizabeth Logue, Miro Vukmirovic, Denis Tremblay, Tara McWhinney, Jessica Robillard, Laura Massie Fowler, Julie Witmer

 

Riverfest 2018

Michel Babin, Joseph Melaschenko, Peter McGibbon, Yvon Carriere, Johnny, Alexandra Bobek, Dwayne Bunka, Amanda Burns, Liz, Josee Cantin, Bente Baklid, Paula DuHamel, James Sistie, Diane Wagner, Julie Witmer, Paulette Saltman, Robert Belsito, Laura Fowler, Sofia Jain, Rosemary Rich, Laura Massie Fowler

 

Riverfest 2017

Melanie Lavoie, Karine Martineau Laroque, Christine Leger, Sylvie Lebel

Boating Safety Working Group

Michael Cooper, Neil Faulkner, Bob McCallum, Bob Gibson, Glenn Benoy.

Water Monitoring

Ellie Wilkinson, Mark Paquin, Barry Nesbitt, Doug Taylor, Alain Piché,

Water World Day

Ilse Tursen, Elizabeth Logue, Michele Labelle, Guillaume Lamoureux, Rita Jain, Emma Lui