Coastal Environmental Baseline Program

Backgrounder

Funding to Arctic UAV Inc.

About the Coastal Environmental Baseline Program

In September 2017, the Coastal Environmental Baseline Program was launched as part of the national Oceans Protection Plan. The Program provides $50.8 million over five years to collect biological and oceanographic data to characterize the current state of six key coastal ecosystems in Canada. The coastal ecosystems were chosen for their high or potential for increasing vessel traffic and coastal development. These selected ecosystems are the Port of Vancouver, BC; Port of Prince Rupert, BC; St. Lawrence Estuary, QC; Port of Saint John, NB; Placentia Bay, NL; and Iqaluit, NU.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada collaborates with coastal communities and research partners to determine what baseline data will be gathered to understand our marine ecosystems and inform decisions that impact sensitive coastal environments. The Program enables research partners and coastal communities to be directly involved in gathering the scientific data that contributes to characterizing Canada's coastal environments. By gathering baseline data, we can better detect changes in the environment over time and improve our understanding of the effects of shipping and coastal development on the marine environment.

About the data collection projects that Arctic UAV Inc. is leading

Arctic UAV Inc. has two 2-year data collection projects that are taking place in Frobisher Bay. Both projects commenced in summer 2020. The first project is collecting coastal environmental baseline data using a remotely operated underwater vehicle. This project is using video to document habitat, bottom substrate, and benthic species within inner Frobisher Bay. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is providing $285,600 in Coastal Environmental Baseline funding.

A second project by Arctic UAV Inc. is creating georeferenced aerial maps of the inner Frobisher Bay Intertidal Zone. Drones are being used to capture high-resolution imagery of the intertidal areas adjacent to the city of Iqaluit, including areas where coastal development is active. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is providing $262,600 in Coastal Environmental Baseline funding.

This data collected from these two projects will complement many of the other ongoing baseline data collection projects in the Iqaluit area.

About current data collection projects

There are seven active multi-year Coastal Environmental Baseline-funded projects currently underway in and around Iqaluit. Four additional projects concluded in spring of 2020. This is the first time Fisheries and Oceans has provided funding to Arctic UAV Inc.

Information on all funded data collection projects in the Iqaluit area are available online: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/environmental-environnement/cebp-pdecr/projects/iqaluit-eng.html

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