Government of Canada invests in marine science initiative led by the University of Waterloo in Iqaluit, Nunavut
August 2, 2019
Iqaluit, Nunavut — Canada’s Arctic coasts are home to an abundant marine ecosystem that supports the livelihood and culture of Inuit communities living in the North. We know that this environment is changing due to the impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and persistent chemicals that are present in the North. Protecting this bounty for future generations requires science, data and Inuit knowledge. More data is needed so that we can track environmental changes as they happen over time.
Today, in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, participated in scientific data collection with a team of students and researchers from the University of Waterloo.
The data collected under this project, will help characterize the current state of the coastal ecosystem of Iqaluit. The project, which received an investment of nearly $108 000, is measuring the concentration of contaminants like mercury and methyl mercury in species like molluscs, starfish and cod. Contamination is an ongoing threat to the health of Arctic ecosystems that supply a food sources for Inuit. This scientific information will help inform policy decisions that will help keep Inuit healthy and better manage the marine environment.
This research initiative is part of the $50.8 million Coastal Environmental Baseline Program, which involves close collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists, Indigenous and coastal communities, nongovernmental organizations, academia and other research partners. Participants are gathering wide-ranging scientific data to identify long-term changes in Canada’s coastal environment.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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