The Coasters Association was founded in St. Augustine in 1989 and incorporated in La Tabatiére in 1991. It was developed by a group of concerned citizens who wished to support and promote the vitality of the Lower North Shore. It is the only regional organization which represents all coastal communities and voices their concerns as one collective body.
The Association is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as from the proceeds of fundraising campaigns, donations, and membership drives. At present, the membership stands at 3,542. Our mission is to make the Lower North Shore a better place to live for all residents. We firmly believe that this mission is a collective responsibility and that progress is possible when all segments of the community work together.
Coasters Association links the communities of the Coast and creates the common bonds which enable the Lower North Shore to face its development challenges together. The association has built strong alliances with the Federal and Provincial Governments, as well as local bodies. These include: Centre de Santé et de Services sociaux de la Basse Côte Nord; Commission Scolaire du Littoral; Local Development Center; Council of Mayors; Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi; Quebec Labrador Foundation; Sûreté du Quebec; and the Fishermen’s Associations.
Over the year’s, Coasters has presented briefs to provincial and federal parliamentary hearings and has participated in commissions of inquiry on subjects of concern to the population of the Lower North Shore. In particular, the association has addressed: communication issues; community planning; justice issues; education; employment and training; the fishery; health and social services; heritage and culture; services for the physically challenged; senior citizens; tourism; transportation; language issues; volunteerism; women and youth.
In addition, Coasters has developed and issued a total of forty nine (49) reports on many of the issues identified above. It has designed and delivered one hundred and thirty two (132) projects, which in turn have created employment for more than two hundred and ninety two (292) people over the past fifteen years. The Coasters Association has represented the interests of the communities at more than one-thousand, one-hundred (1100) meetings on and off the coast.
The Association is administered by an elected Board of eleven (11) voting members. The Board members represent the five municipalities of the region. It also has youth & physically challenged representation. The Board determines the objectives and key activities of the association. It also serves as a pivotal forum for identifying specific community challenges and the most likely strategies that could address these. As a result, the Board is a reliable source of information for the residents of the Lower North Shore.