Effects of hydroelectric development on coastal primary productivity and phytoplankton community composition


Topographical maps of the Romaine River where hydroelectric development is underway. Maps are from the Atlas of Canada/Toporama .

Hydroelectric development of the Romaine River is currently underway, with power generation scheduled to begin in 2014, reaching full operation in 2020. This project will use the Romaine River development as a test case to examine the effects of such developments on coastal marine environments by collecting baseline data before the start of operations and through continued monitoring as impacts take effect. This project will focus particularly on the impact that a modification in river transport of fresh water, nutrients and organic matter has on the productivity and composition of phytoplankton communities near the mouth of the river. It will also study the frequency and intensity of toxic algal blooms (rapid growth of algae that releases toxic substances and damages other organisms) that occur regularly in the region. In its first year, this project will prepare a review of the existing information from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and plan future collaboration with potential partners. In the second year (pending funding) monitoring of the baseline conditions will begin.

Program Name

Strategic Program for Ecosystem-based Research and Advice (SPERA)


Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary

Principal Investigator(s)

Michael Scarratt

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