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A Key Role in Our Survival

Painted turtle, Chrysemys picta.
Painted turtle, Chrysemys picta.

Biodiversity is invaluable to life on Earth. Aquatic and terrestrial plants provide clean air and filter water. Animals and plants provide food and natural resources.

The Rideau River provides all of these things, as well as habitats for hundreds of native plant and animal species, and offers sanctuary to migratory birds.

People cleaning a riverbank.

A healthy, biodiverse river, such as the Rideau, is more resilient to disturbance and maintains good water quality. A healthy river provides other benefits too, such as fresh air, moments of relaxation in the parks and on the water, quality family time, educational opportunities and business activities.

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias.
Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias.

The River also provides water to dozens of municipalities and thousands of farms and businesses throughout the watershed. Clean water is essential for their sustainability.

By caring for the Rideau River's biodiversity, we are caring for the environment in which we live.

A boat motoring away from a lock.
An Economic Engine
The biodiversity of the Rideau River plays a significant role in the economy of the bordering communities. Ecotourism, whether it involves boating, camping, fishing or bird-watching, brings millions of dollars every year into the communities along the Rideau River. Ecotourism employs thousands in seasonal and year-round jobs.

Roughly one million people and 90,000 boats visit the lock stations or use the locks along the Rideau Canal every year. Parks Canada alone draws in $12-million a year in revenue from tourism, and accounts for nearly 600 person-years of employment.



Eastern elliptios, Elliptio complanata, under water.
A Canadian Heritage River

The Rideau River near Billings Bridge, Ottawa.
The Rideau River Gets Top Billing!

A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, Fiona Currie, André Martel, Andy Ormsby, Diane Pathy, Anne Phelps