A networked approach to aquatic biomonitoring

The CABIN methods and tools are developed on rigorous science and evolve with current research. They are maintained and tested by a team of people within Environment and Climate Change Canada and external experts.

With the standardized CABIN methods and online tools, you can share data and reduce the work required to build a biomonitoring program from scratch. We all benefit from the collective efforts of partners across Canada.

Contributing to the shared database ensures up-to-date and accurate RCA models with good geographic coverage.

CABIN is used extensively by scientists within federal, provincial and territorial governments as an important part of their water monitoring programs. CABIN is also used by First Nations, academia, industry, and non-government organizations.


3 Key Reasons CABIN works for Water Resource Management

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Infographic Long Description

The Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) provides nationally standardized training and tools for biomonitoring using benthic macroinvertebrate communities. There are three (3) key reasons why using the CABIN website and protocols works for water resource management:

  1. CABIN facilitates Informed Decision Making; it helps answer key questions about aquatic health for watershed management.
    • Questions about the STATUS of the benthic invertebrate community, allowing for reporting on current environmental health.
    • Questions about TRENDS and changes in the benthic invertebrate community, which aid in restoration projects and can provide early warning indicators of disturbance.
    • Questions from environmental assessments, useful for REGULATORY studies.
    • Questions about ecosystem recovery during REMEDIATION efforts following environmental emergencies.
    • Quantification of the benthic macroinvertebrate community can also address other questions, such as those asked in biodiversity research.
  2. CABIN helps scientists study Cumulative Effects through Biological Monitoring, allowing them to assess the combined impacts of all upstream pressures on watersheds using meaningful baseline conditions.
    • CABIN shows users an Integrated Ecological Condition; a single CABIN sample represents effects on aquatic biota over time and can capture evidence of multiple disturbance events.
  3. CABIN provides a very cost effecting approach to aquatic health monitoring, especially in remote locations in Canada, where resource development is occurring.
    • CABIN’s “Network of Networks” approach amplifies accessible information on aquatic health in Canada and powerful data sharing permits agencies to assess and report on aquatic health.

CABIN stakeholders across Canada enjoy using and contributing to the network and regularly see the benefits.

  • Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR) recognizes that “CABIN provides [them] with the opportunity to develop a relationship with the river.”
  • An NGO noted that “CABIN has increased the legitimacy of [their] organization with its robust methods.”
  • Consultants using CABIN state that it is “ideal for assessing change in water quality.”
  • Government partners know the value of the CABIN network and tools, with the BC Ministry of the Environment recommending proponents use CABIN methods, and Parks Canada continuing to use CABIN as a cornerstone to their freshwater ecological monitoring program despite cutbacks. In the North, the Yukon Government greatly benefits from CABIN’s online tools and training.

For more information, visit the CABIN website.

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