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Coastal Environmental Baseline Program projects in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Quebec

Description Timeframe Funding amount

Characterization of benthic macrofauna in rocky shoreline areas and awareness of the state of marine ecosystems in the Haute-Côte-Nord and Manicouagan regions

Funding recipient: Explos-Nature

Project summary: Explos-Nature will collect baseline data to characterize the state of aquatic ecosystems in rocky shoreline areas in the Haute-Côte-Nord and Manicouagan regions. The study will focus on the abundance and distribution of benthic macrofauna while characterizing habitats and collecting environmental data, such as water temperature, conductivity, turbidity and salinity. The project will also aim to raise public awareness of the state of aquatic ecosystem health and scientific data collection methods.

4 years $536,577

Characterization of the abundance, richness and diversity of fish in coastal environments using non-extractive methods

Funding recipient: Université du Québec à Rimouski

Project summary: This project will assess underwater camera video recordings to develop indices of fish species richness, diversity and spatio-temporal variations. These indices will be calibrated to St. Lawrence Estuary coastal habitats and validated by surveys.

4 years $92,000

Hyperspectral remote sensing of shallow coastal waters using the WISE sensor

Funding recipient: Université du Quebec à Rimouski

Project summary: This project aims to acquire data on shallow coastal ecosystems through hyperspectral remote sensing. Researchers will develop skills for mapping coastal habitats using new technologies. They will fly an aircraft-mounted WISE sensor over the Manicouagan Peninsula on the St. Lawrence Estuary to map coastal habitats (aquatic vegetation and substrate), improving research tools and obtaining data needed to support decision-making for marine ecosystem management.

4 years $194,920

Temporal dynamics of intertidal macroalgal productivity in the St. Lawrence

Funding recipient: Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Project summary: This project will provide an in-depth understanding of the relationship between the presence, distribution and health of intertidal macroalgae (seaweed) in the study area. It will quantify past storm and ice abrasion events to identify possible relationships between disturbances and macroalgal baselines (seasonal, annual and decadal trends). Sensitive areas will be better identified, and the resilience of the algal canopy to disturbances will be more clearly characterized. The project will also explore new techniques for remote sensing of macroalgae and provide a valuable tool for monitoring coastal marine ecosystems.

4 years $99,963

Characterization of important coastal habitats on the north shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary

Funding recipient: Comité Zone d’Intervention Prioritaire de la Rive Nord de l’Estuaire (Comité ZIP)

Project summary: This study will improve understanding of aquatic environments by characterizing the biological and abiotic components of different wetlands in the St. Lawrence Estuary. The characterization of these coastal habitats and the new information acquired will shed light on particularly sensitive biological aspects associated with the different marshes.

4 years $131,825

Characterization of the seabed between Tadoussac and Baie-Comeau based on LiDAR data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service

Funding recipient: Centre interdisciplinaire de développement en cartographie des océans (CIDCO)

Project summary: Researchers will analyze LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data provided by the Canadian Hydrographic Service to characterize the ecosystem between Tadoussac and Pointe-des-Monts. The study will focus on physical features and other research parameters as well as direct observation to categorize different benthic habitat types.

4 years $541,084
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