Brownfields Area 3
"Although we do not yet understand the full impact of wetlands on the quality of our lives, scientists are constantly working to find out more about the functions and values of wetlands. They already know that wetlands can control floodwater and help to filter out pollutants.
Wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, support fisheries, and are sanctuaries for rare and endangered species. We also know that many of our traditional medicinal plants grow in wetland areas. Most people living in Akwesasne have experienced the aesthetic value of wetlands, knowing that they are places where people can enjoy activities such as fishing, boating, hunting, bird watching, medicine picking and picnicking to name a few. The mouths of the Grasse, Racquette, St. Regis and Salmon Rivers represented spawning grounds and provided cyclical harvests of salmon, bass, sturgeon, walleye, northern pike, white fish, eel, and perch. The confluence of the four rivers provided an ecosystem that propagated basket making - and pottery - materials, and many varieties of fruit- and nut bearing trees pertaining to the culture. The fertile river valley sprouted vegetables, fruits and nuts that supplemented a healthy diet of fish and wild game. The valley was also replete with birch and maple trees that were used to make containers and produced annual spring flows of sap. Strips of cedar bark were used in medicinal ways. In between, the lowlands flourished with sweet grass and numerous varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area. Hunting, fishing and trapping also continued to be an important part of the economy and culture of the Mohawks of Akwesasne"