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Quebec’s First Vél’Eau Tour

release by Ducks Unlimited

June 29, 2009 (Quebec City, QC) – Presented by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), in association with the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes, the Vél’Eau Tour is Quebec’s first ever cycling tour designed to raise money for the environment. From August 14 to 17, conservation-minded cyclists are invited to saddle up for a magnificent 250km ride from Terrebonne to Neuville along the wetlands situated on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River.

The DUC Vél’Eau Tour is a volunteer-driven, pledge-based fundraising event that provides the opportunity to cycle through scenic Quebec in support of wetland conservation. Wetlands play a crucial role in the overall health of the environment by providing clean water, reducing pollution, moderating the effects of climate change and providing habitat for waterfowl and wildlife populations. Wetlands are also great places to be active in the outdoors. Unfortunately, up to 70 per cent of Canada’s wetlands have been lost in settled areas of the country. DUC’s mission is to conserve these precious resources. As a non-profit organization, DUC depends on volunteers to raise funds at events like the Vél’Eau Tour that support its wetland conservation work.

Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a novice rider, you can take part in the DUC Vél’Eau Tour and ride for the environment. Interested participants can register to cycle on their own or as part of a relay team. All involved will be making a real difference in the future of Canada’s wetlands.

Event spokesperson Marie-Claude Audet, former Olympic cyclist and health promotion consultant at La Capitale, says, “The Vél’Eau Tour is the perfect way to see the positive impact of DUC’s wetland conservation work on some of Quebec’s natural areas, as well as a great opportunity to get in shape and meet others who are committed to the wetland conservation cause. It’s like a bike eco-tour!”

The Vél’Eau Tour’s itinerary takes cyclists across the shores of the St. Lawrence River and crosses the marshes, lakes and rivers that connect Terrebonne, on the outskirts of Montreal, to Neuville, near Quebec City. The route will pass by ÃŽle de Varennes, ÃŽle Marie and ÃŽle du Pas, as well as the Marguerite River, Grondine Marsh and Léon-Provancher Marsh, among other places. Each location along the route has been selected for its proximity to a wetland area where DUC has carried out its wetland conservation work. These strategic locations will serve as rally points for both experienced and less-seasoned riders.

You can become part of an extraordinary group who are getting Active By Nature to raise money in the fight against wetland loss. The registration fee of $125 includes the cycling tour with all logistics, four light meals, three nights accommodation and an official Louis Garneau Vél’Eau Tour jersey. All participants are asked to raise money for the event to help support the cause. The entry fee will be waived for participants who raise more than $700.

For more information about the Vél’Eau Tour or to sign up, call 1 800 565-1650 ext. 35 or visit www.ducks.ca/biketour

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