For riverside owners and municipalities alike, stabilization work along the St. Lawrence River is not simple. An organization in the MRC of Portneuf has just launched tools to help everyone.

“It’s complicated for local residents to find their way around, and for municipalities too,” says Guillaume Delair, project coordinator at the ZIP Les Deux Rives Committee.

Before joining this consultative body, Mr. Delair worked for 11 years as coordinator of watercourse management at the MRC of Portneuf.

“We must not throw stones at the municipalities. They have so many things to do that for small ones, it’s really too complicated to manage all these files and to have competent people for everything,” he says.

“We also have to put ourselves in the place of local residents: sometimes the pill is not easy to swallow,” he says, referring to the cost of engineering plans that must be made before stabilization works.

“To try to get everyone on board,” the organization launched this spring a “portfolio of eco-responsible technical solutions” for the MRC of Portneuf, which has five neighboring municipalities (Cap-Santé, Deschambault-Grondines, ​Donnacona, Neuville and Portneuf).

Cases of riprap or obsolete concrete walls, as well as erosion of natural banks, have been documented, and guides have been made available to local residents.

“More or less vertical artificial developments such as low walls and massive oversized riprap” lead to “erosion phenomena at their ends on neighboring land”, recalls the documentation.

And such an installation risks triggering a “domino effect,” underlines Mr. Delair.

When a first resident installs “a low wall or a very, very massive riprap”, his neighbor “who had a bank which was completely healthy” risks saying that he has “no choice to stabilize”, explains -he.

The guide intended for local owners notably provides a list of steps to follow (starting with “Choose a professional for the design”) and reminds that in addition to the municipal permit, certain works require authorization from the Ministry of the Environment and, even, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The standard plans, which are “really specific” to particular cases in the Portneuf region, are however “difficult to apply” to other regions.

“On the other side of Portneuf, there are cliffs, it’s completely different. We are not going to find the same problems, so they are not the same solutions either,” illustrates Mr. Delair.

“We would like to do this portfolio project in the rest of the territory. We are currently looking into how we could finance this. »

The organization would also like to add elements, such as experimental bank stabilization projects to test development concepts.

The territory of ZIP Les Deux Rives extends from Trois-Rivières to Neuville (north bank of the river) and from Bécancour to Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly (south bank), i.e. five MRCs in total.