Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
Annual Report to Parliament for April 2019 to March 2020: chapter 2
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- 2. Monitoring the environment and human health
2. Monitoring the environment and human health
Monitoring the environment and human health covers monitoring and surveillance activities that allow experts to determine levels and trends of chemicals, air pollutants and waste disposal affecting the environment and human health.
2.1 Chemicals in our environment
Monitoring and surveillance activities are essential to identify and track levels and trends of chemicals in the environment and human exposure to those chemicals.
Monitoring activities also support Canada’s contribution to international efforts, including the:
- Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
- Great Lakes Herring Gull Contaminants Monitoring Program
- Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
- United Nations Environment Programme’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury
A broad range of monitoring activities for chemicals was conducted to support a number of domestic programs including:
- the Chemicals Management Plan
- the Northern Contaminants Program
- the Freshwater Quality Monitoring Program
- the St. Lawrence Action Plan
- the Great Lakes Monitoring Program
- the Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling network (GAPS)
- the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP)
The Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance Program involves the collection of data on the concentration of chemical substances in various environmental compartments at locations across Canada. Environmental compartments include surface water, sediment, air, aquatic biota and wildlife. Wastewater system influent, effluent and biosolids are also monitored at select locations representing a range of input and treatment system types. These monitoring and surveillance activities provide data to inform the assessment and management of chemical substances in the environment.
Priority substances monitored in 2019-2020 as part of the CMP Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance Program
- Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
- Other flame retardants
- Priority rare earth elements
- Chlorinated alkanes
- Nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP/NPEs)
- Chlorhexidine salts
- Dioxins and furans
- Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs)
- Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and metabolites
- Metals (such as mercury, cobalt, lead, selenium)
Environmental Monitoring of Bisphenol A (BPA) in Canada
Environmental monitoring activities were conducted for Bisphenol A at selected sites across Canada in surface water (2008 to 2018; figure 2), sediment (2011 to 2018), fish (2004 to 2009), bird eggs and plasma (2009 to 2015), wastewater (2008 to 2013), and landfill leachate (2008 to 2013). Results from these monitoring activities were summarized in the report entitled “Bisphenol A in the Canadian Environment”. As described in the report, concentrations of BPA were generally higher near sources such as wastewater treatment plants (some of which receive landfill leachate), landfill sites and paper-recycling mills, and in large cities, compared to other sampling sites. This information was used as part of the “Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Risk Management Measures for Bisphenol A (BPA) - Ecological Component”, which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of measures that have been put in place since 2012 to manage the risk posed by BPA to the environment.
Figure 2: BPA concentrations in surface water samples collected across Canada, 2008 to 2018
Long description for figure 2
BPA concentrations at 51 surface water sampling locations are presented on a map of Canada. Sites where BPA was not detected or areas where the median of multiple sites was below the detection level are represented by a green circle. Locations where BPA was detected are indicated by a blue bar with its length proportional to the amount of BPA that was detected. Where more than one data point was available for a given location, the median value was plotted. The divisions on the map represent Canada's drainage regions, comprising 25 of Canada's major rivers (Statistics Canada, 2017. Human activity and environment (16-201-X). Ottawa (ON): Statistics Canada. [accessed 2019-11-27]). The 51 sample locations and the amount of BPA detected are indicated in the table below.
|Atlantic Region||-||Napan River||ND|
|Atlantic Region||-||Sackville River at Bedford||ND|
|Atlantic Region||-||Lower Little Sackville River||ND|
|Atlantic Region||-||Waterford River||ND|
|Atlantic Region||-||St. John River – Upstream||ND|
|Atlantic Region||-||St. John River – Downstream||ND|
|Quebec region||-||Chaudière River||ND|
|Quebec region||-||St. Lawrence River at Quebec||ND|
|Quebec region||-||St. Lawrence River at Lavaltrie||9.1|
|Quebec region||-||St. Lawrence River at Berthierville||ND|
|Quebec region||-||Princeville brook||ND|
|Quebec region||-||Bras Saint-Victor||ND|
|Ontario region||-||St. Lawrence River at Wolfe Island||ND|
|Ontario region||-||Ottawa River||ND|
|Ontario region||-||Prescott WWTP outfall||ND|
|Ontario region||-||Trent River||ND|
|Ontario region||Urban Toronto sites||Mimico Creek||44|
|Ontario region||Urban Toronto sites||Highland Creek||17|
|Ontario region||Urban Toronto sites||Taylor Creek||34|
|Ontario region||Urban Toronto sites||Credit River||ND|
|Ontario region||-||Beaverdams Creek||101|
|Ontario region||-||Fort Erie||ND|
|Ontario region||-||St. Catharines - Dicks Creek||26|
|Ontario region||-||Niagara River at Niagara-on-the-Lake||ND|
|Ontario region||-||Hamilton Harbour - Site 926||11|
|Ontario region||-||Hamilton Harbour - Site 914||47|
|Ontario region||-||Hamilton Harbour - Site 1001||ND|
|Ontario region||-||Hamilton Harbour - Site 909||11|
|Ontario region||Grand River||Upstream Kitchener/Waterloo||ND|
|Ontario region||Grand River||Downstream Kitchener/Waterloo||14|
|Ontario region||Grand River||Downstream of Galt’s WWTP||ND|
|Ontario region||Thames River||Upstream London||ND|
|Ontario region||Thames River||Downstream London||13|
|Red River||-||Downstream of Selkirk’s WWTP||ND|
|Red River||-||Upstream of Lake Winnipeg||ND|
|Red River||-||Downstream of Winnipeg’s WWTP||ND|
|Red River||-||Near Emerson||ND|
|Wascana Creek||-||Upstream Regina||ND|
|Wascana Creek||-||Downstream Regina||75|
|Pacific Region||-||Upper Mill Creek||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Mill Creek – Kelowna||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Lower Mill Creek||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Okanagan River at Oliver||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Okanagan River at Penticton||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Osoyoos Lake||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Serpentine River||10|
|Pacific Region||-||Upper Fraser River||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Main Arm of Fraser River||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||North Arm of Fraser River||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Fishtrap Creek||ND|
|Pacific Region||-||Still Creek||21|
2.2 Chemicals in humans
Health Canada’s (HC) human biomonitoring efforts continued in 2019-2020 with the national biomonitoring program conducted under the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), measuring environmental chemical exposures in blood and urine of a nationally representative sample of Canadians aged 3 to 79 years.
The Fifth Report of Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada that included data for 99 environmental chemicals (for example, alternate plasticizers, pesticides, and VOCs) collected from approximately 5800 Canadians aged from 3 to 79 years in cycle 5 of the CHMS (2016-2017) was published in November 2019.
Other activities on the CHMS in 2019-2020 included:
completion of the sample collection for cycle 6 (2018-2019) and finalization of analytical methods for certain chemicals prioritized for cycles 7
publication by HC researchers of a regional analysis of biomonitoring data from CHMS for the provinces of Quebec and Ontario and an updated evaluation of human biomonitoring data from CHMS in health-risk contextFootnote 1
publication of 82 journal articles that used the CHMS data with 12 articles authored by HC researchers and the remainder authored by external researchers
screening assessments of parabens, molybdenum, vanadium, zinc and its compounds using CHMS data
HC continued analysis and publication of biomonitoring and research results from the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Research Platform. In 2019-2020, 12 MIREC platform papers were published. This included studies of:
environmental exposures and outcomes in children and infants (obesity, behavioral and cognitive outcomes, and endocrine disruption) and pregnant women (gestational hypertension, folate metabolism)
the importance of prenatal chemical exposures on child behavior and the relationship between environmental chemicals and child adiposity
- notably, interesting sex differences in studies of child adiposity from the MIREC CD and CD Plus studies were found (Even at very low levels, lead may impact children’s body mass index at ages 3 to 5 years. These associations were stronger in boys. Conversely, prenatal exposure to BPA was associated with an increase in body mass index in girls around age 3.)
Monitoring in the North
Both Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and HC contribute to the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) led by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). HC partners with CIRNAC on the human health component of the NCP, which addresses concerns about human exposure to elevated levels of contaminants in wildlife species important to the traditional diets of northern Indigenous peoples. In 2019-2020, HC supported four human biomonitoring and health projects under the NCP. These projects addressed exposure to contaminants and links to country foods and nutritional status in multiple northern regions (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavik) and the development and evaluation of health communication tools.
ECCC has been a major contributor in monitoring abiotic media, aquatic biota and wildlife, as well as Arctic ecosystem health. ECCC monitors wildlife at numerous sites across the Canadian Arctic on a biennial or annual basis under the NCP, for a large suite of legacy and new Chemicals of Emerging Arctic Concern (CEACs), as well as metals, including mercury.
2.3 Air pollutants and greenhouse gases monitoring
Monitoring and reporting activities are important for identifying and tracking levels and trends of air pollutants that impact both the environment and human health, as well as greenhouse gases that impact climate change.
Ambient (outdoor) air quality monitoring informs air quality management in Canada, including tracking progress relative to the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards. The data is used for validation of numerical air quality prediction models, for evaluating the benefits and effectiveness of control measures, as well as for assessments of the impact of air pollution on Canadians and the environment.
ECCC monitors ambient air quality across the country through 2 complementary networks.
The National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) program which is managed by provincial and territorial governments in cooperation with ECCC, via an agreement, in order to provide long-term air quality data from populated regions of Canada
The Canadian Air and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CAPMoN) which provides information on regional patterns and trends of atmospheric pollutants in both air and precipitation at rural and remote sites
Data collected through NAPS, CAPMoN and other provincial, territorial and municipal monitoring stations are used to calculate air quality indicators. The air quality indicators track ambient concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ground-level ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the national, regional and urban levels and at local monitoring stations.
Additional air pollutant monitoring carried out by ECCC includes:
AEROCAN, the Canadian sub-network of NASA’s global AERONET satellite network, takes optical readings of solar radiation in order to measure atmospheric aerosols
the Canadian Brewer Spectrophotometer Network measures the total thickness of the ozone layer (known as total column ozone) and ultraviolet radiation (UV) at selected locations across Canada
the Canadian Ozonesonde Network measures vertical column ozone from ground level up to 36 km altitude by launching weekly ozonesondes affixed to balloons, providing long-term ozone data
Greenhouse gases (GHGs)
The Canadian Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Program includes observations of carbon dioxide and other GHGs from 16 long-term measurement sites across Canada (figure 3). Among the sites is the Alert Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory. Alert serves as 1 of 3 global GHG inter-comparison sites to ensure consistent measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas concentrations across the world.
Figure 3: Canadian Greenhouse Gas Measurement Program monitoring sites
Long description for figure 3
This map shows the 16 Environment and Climate Change Canada long term monitoring sites for the Canadian Greenhouse Gas Measurement Program: Inuvik, NT; Behchoko, NT; Cambridge Bay, NU; Alert, NU; Estevan Point, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Lac La Biche, AB; Esther, AB; Bratt’s Lake, SK; East Trout Lake, SK; Churchill, MB; Fraserdale, ON; Egbert, ON; Downsview, ON; Chapais, QC; Sable Island, NS.
ECCC makes its atmospheric monitoring data available to the public through national and international databases, including the Government of Canada Open Data Portal; World Meteorological Organization (WMO); World Data Centres for GHGs; WMO World Data Centre for Precipitation Chemistry; and the WMO World Ozone and Ultraviolet Data Centre, which is operated by the Meteorological Service of Canada.
Measurements of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 at Alert Nunavut
Measurements of atmospheric CO2 began in March 1975 at Alert, Nunavut (figure 4). The annual average CO2 value at Alert in 2019 was 412.0 parts per million (ppm), which is slightly higher than the annual average CO2 values at Alert in 2018 and 2017 which were 409.5 ppm and 407.7 ppm, respectively.
ECCC began measuring atmospheric methane (CH4) in August 1985 at Alert, Nunavut (figure 5). The annual average CH4 value at Alert in 2019 was 1950.0 parts per billion (ppb). The rate of annual increase in CH4 concentrations showed a steady decline in the late 1980s and hovered around zero from 1999 to 2006, reflecting a near global balance between emissions and removal by atmospheric chemical processes. However, since 2007, CH4 has increased every year on average by 6 ppb per year.
Figure 4: atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Alert, Nunavut
Long description for figure 4
This graph shows the monthly mean, annual cycle and trend of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Alert, Nunavut from 1975 to 2019. The graph indicates that carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere has been rising rapidly since 1975. The red line indicates the average upward trend, while the blue line shows annual fluctuations. (Each year carbon dioxide decreases during the summer in Northern Hemisphere, as plant growth absorbs carbon from the atmosphere; and increases during the winter.)
Figure 5: atmospheric methane measured at Alert, Nunavut
Long description for figure 5
This graph shows the monthly mean, annual cycle and trend of atmospheric methane measured at Alert, Nunavut from 1985 to 2019. The graph indicates that the rate of annual increase in CH4 concentrations steadily declined since the late 1980s and hovered around zero from 1999 to 2006, reflecting a near global balance between emissions and removal by atmospheric chemical processes. However, since 2007, CH4 has increased every year on average by 6 ppb per year. The red line indicates the average upward trend, while the blue line shows annual fluctuations.
2.4 Disposal at sea site monitoring program
By monitoring disposal sites, ECCC is able to verify that the permitting of disposals at sea is sustainable and that permit holders can have continued access to suitable sites. Where monitoring indicates a problem or where the site has reached its capacity over time, management action in the form of closing, moving or altering the site use can occur.
In 2019-2020, monitoring projects were completed at 12 ocean disposal sites nationally, one of which was a closed site. Monitoring at the 11 actively used sites amounts to monitoring 11% of the 104 actively used sites. Due to the timing of fieldwork and the length of time required for data analysis, some of the results of disposal at site monitoring projects are sometimes not available until at least a year after they are completed. This year, results are reported for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 in Pacific and Quebec regions, and for 2019-2020 in Atlantic region.
In 2018-2019, 4 disposal sites were monitored off the coast of British Columbia (see table 1). In 2019-2020, 1 of those sites was monitored again, as well as an additional site. Monitoring at all of the sites consisted of sediment sampling and analysis for physicochemical parameters, toxicity testing, and sediment profile imaging (SPI) surveys to better understand the potential effects related to disposal activities. At the Sandheads and Point Grey sites, sediment samples were also analyzed for an extensive suite of chemicals, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) to generate new data in support of the Government of Canada’s Whales initiative.
Sediment profile imaging
A camera is deployed to the seafloor to take a cross-sectional image of the sediment/water interface and near-surface sediment. This technique is used to image, measure and analyze physical and biological parameters at and around disposal sites.
|Disposal sites||Physico-chemical survey
|Sediment profile imaging||Comments|
|Five Fingers Island (2018)||n/a||n/a||n/a||One-year study with Natural Resources Canada to install instrumentation to determine if the site is dispersive. Results showed site is non-dispersive.|
|Cape Mudge (2018)||Primarily sand. No concerns with sediment chemistry.||Not performed||No concerns||Sediment chemistry data interpretation for other parameters is still underway.|
|Newcombe Channel (2018)||Primarily sand. No concerns with sediment chemistry.||Passed||No concerns||Sediment chemistry data interpretation for other parameters is underway.|
|Sandheads (2018)||Primarily sand at disposal site, silt outside. No concerns with sediment chemistry at site.||Passed||No concerns||
Sediment chemistry data interpretation for other parameters is underway.
Exceedances of the PCB guideline developed specifically for Killer Whale Critical Habitat were found outside of the disposal site. Re-investigated in 2019.
|Sandheads (2019)||Primarily sand-silt. No concerns with sediment chemistry at site.||Not performed as it was completed in 2018 and all passed.||n/a||
Sediment chemistry data interpretation for other parameters is still underway.
Exceedances of PCB guideline for Killer Whale Critical Habitat once again found outside of disposal site. Site will be monitored again in 2020-2021.
|Point Grey (2019)||Primarily gravel-sand at disposal site, silt-clay outside. No concerns with sediment chemistry.||Passed||No concerns||Sediment chemistry data interpretation for other parameters still underway.|
In 2018-2019, 6 disposal sites were monitored in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence off the coast of the province of Quebec. Post-disposal hydrographic surveys were conducted at all sites and compared to the results of the surveys completed in 2016, providing a before and after survey of the sea floor.
A multibeam echo sounder from a ship is used to measure the depth of the sea floor. The resulting image allows for the interpretation of where and how sediment and disposal material has settled at disposal sites.
|Disposal site||Results of hydrographic surveys||Comments|
|Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé (ST-4)||No material detected at disposal site||Expected result - verified compliance with unused permit|
|L'Anse-à-Beaufils (AB-5)||No material detected at disposal site||Unexpected result - permittee reported that 5 160 m3 of material had been disposed at this site*|
|L'Anse-à-Brillant (ABR-1)||Only 24% of deposited material detected||Unexpected result, as more than 24% should be detected*|
|Saint-Godefroi (SG-2)||No material detected at disposal site||Unexpected result - permittee reported that 5 880 m3 of material had been disposed at this site*|
|Port-Daniel-Est (PD-6)||No material detected at disposal site||Unexpected result - permittee reported that 4 490 m3 of material had been disposed at this site*|
|Dépôt E||Nearly 302 274 m3 of the expected 420 038 m3 of material (72%) remained in place||Loss of material not a cause for concern|
* For these 4 sites, this round of monitoring revealed a pattern in this region of not being able to find the material that was disposed. This has raised concerns that the material is in fact being disposed outside of the disposal sites’ boundaries. As a result, investigations and preliminary conversations with the permit holder have suggested that incorrect coordinates may have been entered in the GPS of the inexperienced contractor. The investigation continued in 2019-2020 to resolve the issue for future permits.
In 2019-2020, 5 disposal sites were monitored in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, including specific follow-up hydrographic surveys of those sites that had unexpected results (see table 3). Other sites (2) were monitored off the coast of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine with the same objective.
|Disposal site||Results of hydrographic surveys||Comments|
|L'Anse-à-Beaufils (AB-5)||Nearly 3 911 m3 of the expected 6 067 m3 of material (64%) remained in place.||Result is a vast improvement over 2018-2019 and demonstrates that material was disposed of at the correct location.|
|L'Anse-à-Brillant (ABR-1)||Nearly 815 m3 of the expected 1 325 m3 of material (61%) remained in place.||Result is a vast improvement over 2018-2019 and demonstrates that material was disposed of at the correct location.|
|G-5||No material detected at disposal site.||Expected result - permit was not used.|
|Port-Daniel-Est (PD-6)||No material detected at disposal site.||Expected result - permit was not used.|
|Saint-Godefroi (SG-2)||No material detected at disposal site.||Unexpected result as a permittee reported that 2 394 m3 of material had been disposed at this site. A supplementary hydrographic survey will be conducted at in 2020‑2021 to investigate further.|
|IE-6||Nearly 7 374 m3 of the expected 7 742 m3 of material (95%) remained in place.||Expected result - no concerns at the site.|
|M-5||Nearly 6 483 m3 of the expected 10 111 m3 of material (64%) remained in place.||Expected result - no concerns at the site.|
Note: The percentage of material that remains in place is site specific and depends on a number of factors, which include: a) the nature of the site and whether or not it is dispersive; b) the pattern of disposal of the sediments; c) the depth of the site and slope of the seafloor; d) the type of substrate of the seabed versus the nature of the material disposed; e) the conditions at the time of the hydrographic survey.
An additional site off the coast of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Dépôt D, was also monitored in 2019-2020 (see table 4). The site is 12 m deep and has been closed since 2006. The study’s objectives were to evaluate the recovery of the site and its stability over time.
|Hydrographic survey||Physico-chemical survey (sediment)||Benthic community survey||Video survey||Comments|
|Appears there is some light flattening of the site since 2006, primarily due to the effects of winds and storms.||No contamination issues.||Low abundance and diversity of organisms. Differences in methodologies did not allow for evaluation of recovery of the site.||Sandy seafloor. No differences observed between abundance and richness of epibenthic macrofauna at the disposal site versus the reference sites.||No major concerns were found at this site and it is closed.|
In 2019-2020, monitoring was conducted at the Black Point and Les Aboiteaux disposal sites, both located in New Brunswick. Results are included in table 5.
For the Les Aboiteaux disposal site, a pilot monitoring study was conducted to assess a proposed monitoring approach and tools for the biological monitoring of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Small Craft Harbour sand bypass disposal sites located along the Gulf shore. The pilot study utilized a beam trawl (trawl net spread on a beam) to sample the biological communities that live on, in, or near the seabed (epibenthic/ hyperbenthic). Transects (7) were sampled at 2 study sites (nearfield exposure and reference). Prior to the conduct of the sampling study, underwater video recordings of the transects were collected, to determine the efficacy of the beam trawl method in sampling the biological community.
|Disposal site||Hydrographic survey||Physico-chemical survey (sediment)||Biological survey||Comments|
|Black Point (New Brunswick)||Little change, except for 1.32 metres of deposition found between the 2018 and 2019 surveys. Sediments spread along the sea-bottom towards the northwest site boundary and appear to extend beyond in places.||Data interpretation still underway.||Data interpretation still underway.||Hydrographic surveys show significant sediment build-up at the disposal site. No concerns regarding navigational or environmental impacts. Annual hydrographic surveys will be conducted. Assessment of the apparent exceedance of the northwest boundary will be conducted.|
|Les Aboiteaux (New Brunswick) - pilot project||n/a||n/a||The beam trawl sampling method used in the pilot study resulted in low efficacy as compared to the video recordings.||Research and consultation with experts is underway to explore the possible causes of the low efficacy of this method and whether modifications could result in a better sampling of the biological community.|
2.5 Water quality monitoring
Freshwater quality monitoring has been a core ECCC program since the Department’s inception in the early 1970s. The Department’s monitoring and surveillance activities are critical for assessing and reporting on water quality status and trends in addition to fulfilling federal domestic and international commitments and legislative obligations. Much of the Program’s monitoring is carried out through federal-provincial/territorial agreements, ensuring cost-effective and non-duplicative program delivery.
ECCC’s Fresh Water Quality Monitoring program continues to implement a risk-based adaptive management framework in conjunction with statistical analyses to better target monitoring activities to the risks of contaminants and human activities in Canadian watersheds. The approach has been used to optimize monitoring locations and adjust monitoring frequencies relative to the environmental risks and to report on changes in environmental condition. The program continues to monitor chemicals of concern in water, sediments and aquatic biota at national sites across Canada in support of the Chemicals Management Plan.
Please see the Canada Water Act Annual Report for an update on freshwater quality monitoring in Canada.
2.6 Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators
The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program reports on key environmental sustainability issues including climate change, air quality, water quality and availability, wildlife, biodiversity, habitat, pollution, waste and toxic substances. It is designed to convey the state of Canada’s environment, including historical trends, in a straightforward and transparent manner. CESI is used to inform citizens, Parliamentarians, policy makers and researchers with comprehensive, unbiased and authoritative environmental information. The CESI program responds to ECCC's commitments under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) and the Department of the Environment Act to report to Canadians on the state of the environment and is the prime instrument to measure progress of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
ECCC prepares the indicators through close collaboration with science and data experts across the federal government, including HC, Statistics Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as relevant provincial and territorial counterparts. The data used to calculate indicators originate from a variety of sources, including surveys, measurement networks and other research initiatives that are expected to be maintained and updated for the foreseeable future.
The indicators are published on the CESI website showing national and regional results along with the methodology explaining each indicator and links to related socio-economic issues and information. CESI also has an interactive map that enables the user to quickly explore Canada's local and regional environmental indicators.
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