Petroleum contamination in Canada is a major environmental concern. However, remediating petroleum hydrocarbon-impacted soil environments in cold climates, including northern sites, is very challenging and often prohibitively expensive, mainly due to low temperatures (short summer) and remoteness. Bioremediation is the use of microbial populations for degrading and detoxify contaminants and has been considered a cost-effective remediation technology for petroleum-contaminated cold-climate soils due to the common presence of cold-adapted indigenous hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria.
Massive drifting icebergs frequently threaten offshore operations on the Grand Banks because of their massive size, and great mechanical strength. These ice hazards move erratically which complicates efforts to modify their trajectory or undertake evasive action. This MITACS project aims to improve security of offshore workers and help protect wildlife and the environment by allowing more accurate prediction of short-term iceberg drift. The funding partner, ASL Environmental Sciences, will benefit through improved capability to provide world-class services to their clients.
This project will assess the value in measuring sustainability outcomes according to place-specific baselines rather than universal thresholds set by rating systems and frameworks. It seeks a stronger foundation for sustainable design that can acknowledge place-specific factors. Ultimately, this work will lead to the establishment of a decision-making protocol about sustainable design options and outcomes that can be applied in a range of contexts, for better choices, made more justifiably, better understanding of impact, and a better sense of progress across projects.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are sources of eutrophication (e.g., blue-green algae bloom) in rivers and lakes. The bloom of blue-green algae can significantly affect aquatic lives and human activities because of the toxins that they produce. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations in municipal wastewater discharges. Conventional treatment techniques using activated sludge (AS) based biological nutrient removal (BNR) process often experiences system deficiency at low temperature (winter) and under increased hydraulic loads (e.g., snow melting events).
The lack of scientific data on the potential effects of instream tidal power is delaying the decision-making process on a technology that shows promise for reducing carbon emissions, and for which Canada could become a global leader in the production of infrastructure. It remains unclear if fishes that occupy Canadas leading tidal energy test site will be negatively affected by turbine installations. The objective here is to determine spatial and temporal overlap of fishes with areas scheduled for turbine deployment.
It remains unclear if fishes that occupy Canadas leading tidal energy test site in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, will be negatively affected by turbine installations. The objective of this project is to determine fishes interactions with operating turbines. Of approximately 70 species of fishes that interact with Minas Passage only three have abundance estimates (Gaspereau River Alewife; Shubenacadie River Striped Bass; Saint John River Atlantic Sturgeon) that are necessary to predict effects at the population level.
The Freshwater Oil Spill Remediation Study (FOReST) project will use small contained oil spills in enclosed environments within a lake to study examine the effectiveness of shoreline cleanup procedures and potential ecological impacts of oil spills. The resilience of freshwater aquatic ecosystems to recover from a spill will also be examined. We will examine the ability of bacterial communities to respond to the introduction of oil and biodegrade petroleum compounds.
This research will test the efficacy of sulphate and metals removal from mine-influenced water using passive or semi-passive technologies. Critical to successful application of these technologies is creating conditions that support microorganisms that mediate precipitation of metal sulphide minerals.
Urbanization continues to drive the land conversion from natural areas to urban uses dominated by impermeable surfaces. This conversion has direct and indirect impacts on ecosystem services that are critical for a sustainable and resilient ecosystem as well as human wellbeing. Habitat removal and fragmentation accelerate biodiversity loss in urban landscapes. Additionally, climate change exacerbates these impacts even further. Hence, green infrastructure is also becoming more common in urban landscapes to offset negative urbanization impacts.
Pollutants in stormwater runoff and municipal wastewater are grave concerns to the receiving environment of lakes and streams, as nutrients (Phosphorus (P), Nitrogen (N)) contribute to eutrophication. While rain gardens are effective to retain and retard stormwater runoff and removal of certain organic pollutants, limited studies have been conducted on nutrient capture.
This research focuses on waste-to-resource for nutrient removal from aqueous environments.