The Montérégie region is made up of a landscape of plains in the St. Lawrence and Richelieu valleys, with a total area of 11,000 km2. Its population of 1.4 million makes it the second most populous region in Québec. It has three national parks, and several ecological and natural reserves.
The region contributes to hydroelectric production in Québec thanks to the presence of five small power stations and two larger stations, including the Beauharnois station. The region also has two oil-fired power stations, used only during peak periods. The Montérégie region ranks seventh out of seventeen administrative regions in Québec in terms of wind energy potential.
The Montérégie region is rich in limestone, clay minerals, silica, sand, gravel, and stone suitable for crushing or architectural use. These minerals are processed in the region to produce quicklime, cement, mineral fillers, facing bricks, dressed stone and landscaping stone. Other substances extracted elsewhere in the province are processed in Québec, such as ilmenite, used in the production of titanium slag, and mica, used as a mineral filler. Cadmium and sulphuric acid are produced in the region as by-products of zinc refining.
Forestry and wood processing
Forests in the Montérégie region are 94% privately owned, and there are around 10,500 private woodlot owners. Several hardwood species are common, including bitternut hickory, black maple and hackberry. The region has almost 130 outstanding forest ecosystems, consisting of old-growth or rare stands, or stands that are refuges for threatened or vulnerable species. The Montérégie region is the Québec region with the most secondary and tertiary wood processing companies and furniture manufacturers.
It is estimated that 135,000 people visit Montérégie region each year to pursue wildlife-related activities. Spending by tourists on hunting, fishing and wildlife observation amounts to $225 million per year. Some animal species are in danger because of human disturbance to their habitat, including the salamander, striped chorus frog and spiny softshell. The situation of the copper redhorse is even more precarious, since it is found only in Québec. All these species are strictly monitored.
Cottage development, recreation and tourism
The region has many different outdoor activities to offer. The Îles-de-Boucherville, Mont-Saint-Bruno and Yamaska parks, along with the Mont-Saint-Hilaire Nature Conservation Centre and the Monts Sutton, are natural attractions perfectly suited to four-season recreational activities. The region is also well known for its network of cycle trails. Pleasure boating is a popular activity on the St. Lawrence, the Richelieu and Lake Champlain.
The Montérégie region is one of the Québec regions with the most natural resource development potential. Decision-makers in the region have focused in particular on:
- restoration of the natural forest;
- access to wildlife resources on private land;
- the development of a new generation of hunters and wildlife observers;
- the protection and development of the habitats of rare or threatened species.
Effects of the experimental transfer of silvering phase American eel (Anguillal rostrata) from the Upper St. Lawrence River to lac Saint-Pierre on their capacity to sexually maturate and migrate : an examination of the data collected in 2008.