Courtney Trowse, Community Collaboration Officer with Sustainable Oceans Applied Research (SOAR)
Shelley Lonergan, Chief Naturalist and Research Director with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises
In-stream tidal turbines may play an important part in energy security for coastal communities, particularly those in remote areas. However, questions remain regarding how marine animals interact with these devices. Marine observation has a valuable role in helping humans develop a healthier relationship with the ocean, including evaluating impacts of tidal devices on marine animals. Shelley Lonergan will speak to her decades of experience on the water both as a whale tour guide and whale researcher. The incredible data she and her collaborators have collected provide a robust background understanding of marine animal behaviours and use of the waterways around the outer Bay of Fundy, waters which are currently home to Atlantic Canada's only instream tidal device. This background information is immensely valuable as we work together to monitor these devices and evaluate different monitoring techniques. What is clear to us so far, is that human eyes on the water are highly beneficial and valuable. The team at SOAR is pairing their scientific experience with local knowledge help develop best practices around site assessment and environmental monitoring, including the marine observer program funded by OERA. Courtney will share on the SOAR experience to date and where we hope to go from here.