FORCE, Partners Fund New Environmental Monitoring Program

Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA), and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy announced $500,000 in funding to begin a new environmental effects monitoring program (EEMP) at the FORCE site in the Minas Passage.

“We need to understand what effects in-stream tidal technologies may have on the marine ecosystem,” said Tony Wright, general manager of FORCE. “If tidal energy is to grow to a larger scale, development must happen responsibly.”

The program is designed to determine potential turbine effects on the marine environment with a focus on fish, lobster, marine birds, marine mammals, and acoustic effects.

“Tidal energy holds tremendous potential for our province –both as a source of clean power and as an economic opportunity for our growing ocean technology sector,” said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Michel Samson. “Monitoring and sharing data are important in realizing this potential – providing industry, scientists, regulators and the public with more information about how the technologies are interacting with the natural environment.”

Stephen Dempsey, executive director of the OERA, added: “Environmental monitoring is key to understanding the interactions of marine life with tidal energy devices as they are deployed in the Bay of Fundy this year.”

The $500,000 for environmental effects monitoring includes $250,000 from FORCE plus an additional $250,000 from OERA and the NS Department of Energy.