Government of Canada invests in science to better understand and protect marine ecosystems in the Arctic
November 5, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario - Canada’s Arctic waters are imperative to the livelihoods, culture, and identity of Nunavut Inuit. The Government of Canada is working in partnership to protect these ecosystems for future generations.
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital, on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced today that the Government of Canada is investing over $550,000 in two marine environmental data collection projects in Iqaluit, Nunavut. These projects are being funded through the Coastal Environmental Baseline Program under Canada’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Program.
The two research projects are gathering a wide-range of data to help better understand Canada’s coastal environment and how we can protect it.
Arctic UAV Inc. is leading a project that is collecting coastal environmental baseline data using a remotely operated underwater vehicle. This innovative project is using video to document habitat, bottom substrate, and benthic species within inner Frobisher Bay. This data will complement many of the other ongoing baseline data collection projects in the Iqaluit area.
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.
These initiatives will provide crucial information to advance our understanding of these areas and the potential impacts human activities have on the sensitive ecosystem. By working closely with Indigenous partners, Nunavut communities, non-governmental organizations, academia and other research partners, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is strengthening our ability to protect coastal species and habitats.
"Arctic communities and ecosystems are changing faster than ever and we need to invest in science now to better understand how best to support and protect them. Through partnerships with leaders like Arctic UAV Inc., we are gathering the data needed to make sound science-based decisions that protect these shores, and the livelihood of Northern communities for future generations.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Working together with research partners and coastal communities increases our collective knowledge of the marine ecosystems and strengthens our communities. The baseline data collected by Arctic UAV Inc. will advance our understanding of Frobisher Bay and the potential impacts coastal development is having on the ecosystems in the Iqaluit area.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs
“Arctic UAV Inc. is proud to offer world class aerial imaging to better understand our coastal environments. Our project, ROV Data Collection of Scientific Data on Frobisher Bay, is giving local people the necessary tools to see what’s in our oceans and observe first-hand how it’s changing over time. It allows us to collect data that we only dream of - it’s like getting a glimpse of the Inuit Legends of Sedna come to life. 'The Frobisher Bay Inter-tidal Mapping Project has also presented great opportunity to showcase local expertise. Through this project, licensed drone operators are mapping areas of great interest to Inuit, including many where Inuit harvest clams. These projects contribute to a better understanding and conservation in relation to potential project development on or near our homelands. Better data means better decision-making by local people - something we should all strive for."
Kirt Ejesiak, M.P.A. Harvard, Chairman and CEO, Arctic UAV Inc.
In September 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $50.8 million Coastal Environmental Baseline Program, which supports the collection of wide–ranging scientific baseline data in six marine ecosystems with high or potential for increasing vessel traffic and coastline development: the Port of Vancouver, BC; the Port of Prince Rupert, BC; the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary, QC; the Port of Saint John, NB; Placentia Bay, NL; and Iqaluit, NU.
The Coastal Environmental Baseline Program is one of many actions the Government of Canada is taking to safeguard our coasts and waterways under the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.
The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's oceans and waterways for future generations. With this plan, our marine safety system is stronger, and our coasts are better protected than ever before.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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