St. Lawrence River, ON - Mark Mattson

The Waterbody that marked me for life is the St Lawrence River. It is the source of my passion and commitment to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water.

My family has gathered on Brophy’s Point, Wolfe Island since 1865. This was where Canada’s first communities of indigenous people's set up camp and fished for thousands of years before us. This is the place I call home.

Every summer I played, swam, boated, wandered and fished in these waters. And at night I dreamed about what it was like to be a Point Peninsula member or an early explorer like Champlain and Frontenac who paddled these waters before me. I could hardly wait for the sun to rise each morning so I could start exploring again.

It was my mother who always packed me, my brothers, and sisters into the car to drive to Wolfe Island as soon as school was out. She made sure we stayed there, on the water, every day until fall. And it is my mother who has protected this place all her life.

The St. Lawrence River meant freedom and it taught me the meaning of community. It was the place early in my legal career where I found my reason for being a Waterkeeper. I gave up being a criminal lawyer when condoms, tampons, and needles washed ashore on Brophy’s Point. Sewage overflows threatened and disrespected the waters I loved and, in turn, gave me the reason to fight for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for everyone who shares that connection.

Chloe Cross
Mark Mattson

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