About the St. Lawrence Global Observatory

Created in 2005 by a federal and provincial government organization, academic and community organization, SLGO is the first integrated ocean observing system in Canada.

Its concept makes it possible to maximize the benefits of data collection by integrating multidisciplinary data from multiple partners on a single web portal, thus promoting data discovery and re-use. SLGO actually counts 46 members and is recognized throughout the world.


The St. Lawrence Global Observatory, incorporated under Part III of the Companies Act (Quebec), is a not-for-profit organization in accordance with the Income Tax Act. Its objective is to establish and operate an autonomous center for the integration and dissemination of data and information about the St. Lawrence’s global system.

A significant amount of information regarding the entire St. Lawrence – Great Lakes ecosystem is produced on a continuous basis by various organizations operating within the territory (ministries, research organizations, management organizations, etc.). It is therefore necessary to have an efficient and enabling infrastructure to best access and make use of this vast information inheritance.

The vision of  SLGO is to provide the community at large with an integrated, quick and timely access to data and information regarding a network of various member organizations in order to best enable the long-term management of the St. Lawrence’s overall ecosystem.

In that respect, SLGO’s mission is to promote and facilitate accessibility, dissemination and exchange of official and quality data as well as electronic information regarding the St. Lawrence ecosystem through the consolidation and networking of various producers and data-producing organizations in order to meet both their needs and those of users, and also to improve knowledge and help decision-making in areas such as public safety, climate change, transportation, resource management and biodiversity conservation.

Access to information highlighted by the SLGO also offers development opportunities geared toward public and private sectors of derived products and services, consequently generating considerable socio-economic benefits.

The content distributed by the SLGO spans across all disciplines, themes and areas of interest that information-producing members choose to make accessible. A large amount of scientific and environmental information is already available on the SLGO portal. In order to maximize data democratization, the SLGO team continues to develop user-friendly Web applications so to facilitate visualization and data downloading in various formats by means of directly usable free software.

The clientele targeted is very broad, it includes data producers and data holders themselves, and also: the general public, community issue tables, the industry, specialist clientele such as university researchers, research units and even diverse communities such as maritime shipping, environmental assessment, etc.

The synergy generated by the pooling of resources from both the SLGO and its members optimizes dissemination efforts as well as generating exchanges amongst data producers, which in turn benefit the appraisal of data sources. Benefits to members also include a reduction in effort duplication and costs relative to collective dissemination of information which increases the ability to fulfill each’s respective mandates while benefiting the community of one’s clients; by the same token making accessible various additional funding mechanisms, and in doing so, enabling the pursuit of SLGO’s mission.

In its approach, the SLGO acts as a means for both the democratization and the enhancement of the St. Lawrence’s scientific information patrimony by drawing upon its expertise in Web development and information technology (IT). It also makes accessible via its Internet platform tools for: the dissemination of information, technological solutions and international visibility. Also the SLGO contributes both at a national and international level to the creation of a pole of excellence geared toward benefiting from scientific exchanges with other global initiatives.

Its mission is in line with the objectives of major government programs such as the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2026, Quebec’s Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2015-2020 1 (and open access to data from 2), Quebec’s National Water Policy, Quebec’s Concerted Action for Regional Development Cooperation (ACCORD) project, Canada’s Oceans Action Plan, as well as open access 2 to the Global Earth Observation Programs (GEO / GEOSS 3 3).

  1. Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. Stratégie gouvernementale de développement durable 2015-2020. Québec, 2015, 121 pages 
  2. Open Government: Canada | Québec
  3. Group on Earth Observation/Global Earth Observing System of Systems – GEO/GEOSS

Observatory Concept

The observatory concept covers the range of activities, capacities and infrastructures for the collection, management, analysis, processing, modelling and dissemination of data, information knowledge, and value-added products and services implemented by data producers in response to user needs.

The St. Lawrence Global Observatory represents the collective information, expertise and means implemented by member organizations and the SLGO Corporation.

Setting up an observatory such as the SLGO is creating a data value chain. At one end, data from ecosystems monitoring activities is produced then processed, documented and standardized by SLGO member organisations. SLGO makes information products and services available for decision makers and end users by efficiently integrating its members’ quality data and information.

SLGO’s collaborative approach contributes to reducing duplicated efforts and collective costs of data dissemination by creating synergy between data producers and by fostering sharing of means and expertise.

By being a key component of the information infrastructure, SLGO promotes data valorization which contributes to addressing societal issues and translating into socio-economic benefits.

Annual reports (French only)

You will find below the Annual Reports of the last years, detailing SLGO’s activities: