Director's Blog

New Federal funding for the CRI

Posted by Michelle Gray   |   November 18, 2014

The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, on behalf of the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, announced today the Government of Canada will contribute $280,000 to support work on new innovations in environmental monitoring.

The contribution is being provided to the University of New Brunswick’s Canadian Rivers Institute to support its work on the development of new gene-based environmental monitoring method that is more cost-effective and accurate than other observation techniques.

This method will follow the protocols of the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) and will focus on the water quality monitoring area of the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Program. CABIN training and certification will then enable any agency with a mandate in watershed science (i.e. volunteers, First Nations, academics, consultants, industry, provincial/territorial departments) to collect consistent and credible ecosystem health data across Canada.

The benefit to the greater watershed science community will be the development of improved field methods, which could lead to substantial cost savings and reduce the turnaround time for biological data monitoring programs.

Quick Facts:

• The University of New Brunswick–Canadian Rivers Institute (UNB-CRI) is internationally recognized for advancing watershed sciences and ecological sustainability.

• The new method is a world first and was developed as a collaboration between Environment Canada, the Canadian Rivers Institute and the University of Guelph, supported by funds from Genome Canada.

• Five full-time Environment Canada employees who work at the Canadian Rivers Institute will continue work on development and training for the new method.

“Our Government’s investments to support new innovations in environmental monitoring will provide researchers with more effective and accurate tools to ensure the long-term sustainability of priority ecosystems in Canada.”   – The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton







Photo info: CRI student Stephanie Connor collecting an environmental DNA sample in a tributary of the Slave River, AB
Photo credit: Donald Baird (August 2013)

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