An American environmentalist is fighting to save the Magpie River near Sept Îles from being dammed. Robert Kennedy, Jr. has made it his personal crusade to save the river by rafting down it in protest to demonstrate to the people what they will be losing.
Kennedy is urging the Quebec government to protect the northern Magpie River, calling it a “Mona Lisa” that shouldn’t be harnessed for power.
He said plans to build a private dam on part of the river would devastate the river’s appeal as a whitewater-rafting destination.
“It’s going to destroy that river as an economic resource for this industry, for white water,” he said.
Hydromega wants to construct a dam on the Magpie which would produce a meager 40 megawatts of electricity. The promoter of the project estimated it would generate $600,000 in revenues for area municipalities. The money generated would mean each resident of the municipality would receive $77 in revenue.
Kennedy, a lawyer and son of the late U.S. politician Robert Kennedy, described the waterway as one of the most beautiful in the world. He admitted, however, that the proposed hydroelectric dam would not do tremendous damage to its biology or habitats.