St. Lawrence River AOC at Massena/Akwesasne
Remediation and Restoration
The Remediation and Restoration (R&R) Program uses scientific measures and Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to manage industrial chemical risks to human health, and restore healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and traditional foods and medicines in the Akwesasne territory and surrounding environments.
Akwesasne is part of 43 environmentally impacted areas of concern within the Great Lakes River basin. Officially called the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern at Massena/Akwesasne, our territory has impairments to fish, wildlife, plant and river uses. The Tribe works with local, state, and federal agencies to study and remove these impairments through management actions. The partnerships ensure Akwesasne has a say in what happens within our territory.
Oversight at the ALCOA/Arconic, General Motors/RACER and former Reynolds Metals Superfund sites guarantees cleanup plans are followed and air and water monitoring is conducted to make sure no contaminants are leaking out threatening the environment or community members. After the remediation activities are completed, long term monitoring will continue to make sure the cleanup was effective.
Where areas of improvement have been identified, Eco Restoration works to restore habitat, populations and conditions of fish, plants, wildlife and ecosystems. Before the removal of the Hogansburg dam, tens of thousands of mussels were relocated including several rare species of conservation need. A new project will grow mussels in an aquaculture lab and stock them in the Indian Meadows Grasse River where dredging occurred. Also in that same area, culturally important plants will be restocked with the future goal of revitalizing traditional use of the Indian Meadows shoreline.