Recent & Current Projects (2005-2010)
1. Tidal Power Environmental Research
a. A range of environmental studies (habitat, fisheries) related to tidal power development initiatives in the Minas Basin.
b. Facilitation of several tidal power workshops and public forums on tidal power impacts on the environment and the community (2007-2009), at Acadia.
c. Participation in regional tidal power development forums, held at other locations;
d. Preparation of background review documents for a provincially funded Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Bay of Fundy.
e. Establishment and hosting of the Fundy Energy Research Network (Bay of Fundy focus).
f. Participation of ACER as a consortium member in NS Power’s successful proposal to Sustainable Development Technology Canada for $4.6 Million: “In-stream Tidal Energy Demonstration Project”.
g. Development of strong collaborations with industry (e.g. VEMCO – acoustic tracking) and government (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), including a MOU with a DFO Centre of Excellence (COOGER).
h. Participation on the Board of Directors of the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), which is currently developing the demonstration facility for the testing of various tidal power in-stream technologies in the Minas Passage.
i. Membership on the Environmental Monitoring Advisory Committee for the development of tidal power in the Minas Passage.
2. Ecology of the Minas Basin
a. Studies on the population biology and movements of significant fish species (Striped bass, Atlantic sturgeon, American eel) with collaborators Mike Dadswell, Rod Bradford, and Michael Stokesbury.
b. Assessment of the temporal (30yr +) and spatial changes in the biodiversity of mudflat infauna of Minas Basin. This project is one of five “History of the Nearshore” (HNS) international projects funded under the global Census of Marine Life programme. Project PIs are Glenys Gibson and Anna Redden.
3. Initiatives with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) for a Field Research Station and projects on Salt Marsh Restoration and a DUC-Acadia 10 yr Research Grant Program
a. Development of research programs and a field research station on 1000 acres of coastal lands in Aulac, NB (located on the border of NS/NB). These initiatives have lead to considerable investment in restoring, refurbishing and extending the existing farmhouse, which has been recently named the Beaubassin Field Station. It has a new wing which houses a modern laboratory and a dormitory that can sleep up to 16 students. The investment in the field station has been made to support teaching and research related to coastal wetlands and Acadian ecosystems in general.
b. Plans for salt marsh restoration of the extensively dyked areas at the Aulac site have been under consideration since 2006. Current planning has incorporated the research results of Acadia’s first MSc Applied Geomatics graduate, Koreen Millard (2006-2008). In the past year, ACER researchers have assisted DUC with the modelling of dyke breaching and associated plans for salt marsh restoration and monitoring.
c. An MOU signed in 2004 by Acadia’s President, DUC’s President and Arthur Irving was further advanced in 2008 by a second MOU and a commitment by DUC for long term funding (10 years; up to $1 Million) to support wetland research conducted by students and their supervisors. ACER’s Director was involved in the early discussions and preparation of the 2008 MOU and is co-Chair of the Research Grant Management Committee. The first round of grants was awarded to Acadia researchers in early 2009.
4. Watershed – Waterway Health
a. Partnerships have been formed with the Dept of Natural Resources and the Dept of Environment to conduct watershed / water quality studies in the Upper Cornwallis River.
b. During 2005-2008, considerable work was conducted in creating a regional water quality database and in developing nutrient guidelines for water bodies in the Maritimes (Dr Mike Brylinsky).
c. Ecological surveys have been conducted for several lakes in NB with a focus on investigations of factors influencing biological diversity and productivity (Dr Mike Brylinsky).
5. Invasive Alien Species
a. Projects include studies on invasive tunicates in Halifax Harbour (with John Murimboh, Mike Dadswell and Trevor Avery).
b. Report on potential for introducing invasive species in harbours (with Dr Alexandra Curtis).
c. ACER is home to the newly established Invasive Species Alliance of Nova Scotia (ISANS) which has received 2 consecutive years of funding from the Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program under Environment Canada. The coordinator is housed at ACER and the Director of ACER is the Chair of the ISANS Steering Committee. The purpose of the Alliance is to be an enabling network, coordinate existing IAS activities and research in the province, raise awareness about IAS, and inform policy.