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New Government Funded Project ‑ Coastal Restoration Fund

Posted by Jade Owen on February 5, 2018 in News

In November 2016, the Government of Canada (GoC) launched the national $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). Under the OPP, the GoC identified coastal restoration as a key component to alleviating threats to the health of aquatic ecosystems; fish and marine mammal habitats; and marine biodiversity. The Coastal Restoration Fund (CRF) is a part of the OPP, and supports projects that establish coastal restoration plans; identify restoration priorities; and/or implement coastal restoration projects.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada launched the call for CRF expressions of interest in 2017. Dalhousie University was successful in its application, receiving funding to conduct a 5-year research project. The objective is to facilitate interviews and feasibility studies in each of Nunavut’s 25 communities to identify the stressors impacting aquatic species and habitats by drawing on both Inuit knowledge (Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit) and science. Field activities will launch next month, and at least three coastal interventions will be implemented during the lifespan of the project.

The research team is led by Dr. Lucia Fanning (Fish-WIKS PI), with Dr. Claudio Aporta as co-investigator and the Government of Nunavut as co-partner. The project also works in tandem with the Marine Affair Program’s visualization lab by collecting spatial data and creating interactive maps of the results. Community-based findings will inform early detection and mitigation of coastal issues that negatively impact the health of aquatic ecosystems, as well as the sustainable development or maintenance of culturally-significant subsistence and commercial fisheries in the territory.