Coastal research to further ecology knowledge

Port Saint John The research aims to better understand ecology at Port Saint John. Credit: Port Saint John

The Government of Canada is investing CAD$710,000 in coastal research initiatives in Canada’s Port Saint John to enable a greater understanding of ecology in the port and its environmental impacts.

This funding will be spent on four marine environmental data collection projects, which fall under the CAD$50.8m Coastal Environmental Baseline Program, which is part of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. The projects will involve close collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists, indigenous and coastal communities, and other local partners.

“Close partnerships with Indigenous and coastal communities are vital to the success of the Coastal Environmental Baseline Program,” said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Multi-strand research

Organizations receiving funding include Eastern Charlotte Waterways Inc., Fundy North Fishermen’s Association and Huntsman Marine Science Centre.

Their projects will focus on obtaining environmental baseline data on: fish and zooplankton communities; underwater noise and its impacts on marine mammals; the presence of microplastics and other environmental contaminants resulting from human activities; fish harvesters’ knowledge of surface currents as a source of oceanographic data; and other important ecosystem parameters in the port.

These collaborative efforts will enable researchers to track baseline ecosystem status, detect changes over time in the marine environment and gain insights needed to protect sensitive aquatic species and habitats. The information generated may also inform a new assessment framework to help understand the cumulative impacts of marine shipping and to better safeguard Canadian waters.

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