FORCE Issues 2nd Environmental Effects Monitoring Report

FORCE has released its second Environmental Effects Monitoring Report, containing summary information on data collected from 2011 to 2013. The report will be used to help design an enhanced program to monitor effects from tidal turbines deployed at the FORCE site in the Minas Passage.

“We need to understand what effects tidal technology may have on the marine ecosystem,” said new FORCE Chair Joe Fitzharris. “If tidal energy is to become part of our future energy supply, we need more research – and that will help the industry, government and public make informed decisions.”

Anne-Marie Belliveau, head of environmental programs at FORCE, said: “Because ‘in-stream’ turbines don’t require concrete walls or enclosures, they have the potential to leave a much smaller footprint than traditional dams. But there’s more work to do to understand how marine life interacts with these turbines under such extreme, high flow conditions.”

The studies covered in the report include monitoring and research activities on seabirds, marine mammals, lobster and fish movements, marine acoustic environment, benthic habitat and a review on electromagnetic fields.

The studies provide baseline information that will be used with current and future studies to address environmental effects of turbines installed at FORCE.

Belliveau added: “We also need real-time experience with turbines in the water, coupled with environmental sensing equipment that can collect useful and reliable data on the marine environment. And then we’ve got to share that data with the public.”

Anna Redden, Director of the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research and FORCE’s independent academic board member said: “Nova Scotians need to know how in-stream tidal power technology interacts with the Bay of Fundy, and that means ongoing research as technology is deployed into the marine environment at FORCE.”

Image: FORCE (Illustration)

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