Q3 ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING REPORT
We have submitted our third quarter Environmental Effects Monitoring Program (EEMP) report to Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) and other regulators. This Q3 Report is part of the regular update to NS Environment and the Fisheries Protection Program (FPP) at DFO for the 2016/2017 Cape Sharp Tidal turbine deployment. It provides:
- A follow-up to the Q1 and Q2 Reports;
- A review of CSTV EEMP objectives and contingency plan;
- An operational update on the turbine and the monitoring devices;
- A discussion of issues and how they are being addressed and/or mitigated; and,
- Preliminary data results.
An annual monitoring report (Q4), to be submitted on January 1, will provide data results for the year, up to the end of the third quarter. The Q3 report can be found on our website here.
Some of the key highlights are:
- Turbine retrieval provided an opportunity to recover and inspect the monitoring devices; replace broken sensors where required, upgrade cables, and in keeping with the adaptive management approach of the EEMP, to mitigate issues and concerns from the first deployment to ensure a more robust program moving forward.
- During the retrieval, monitoring data collected during the six-month deployment was continually refined and underwent preliminary analyses. These early results show that porpoises were detected at the site, in the vicinity of the turbine site, during all months from November to April. The month with the most porpoise visits was March. No other marine mammals were detected during the six month deployment. The Gemini data shows clear patterns in the automatically-detected activity in the data that correspond to the tidal current and water elevation.
- Development of protocols to manage, store and share monitoring data is ongoing with the objective of having a faster and easier method for the next deployment. This will facilitate data access and early analyses.
- A low frequency sound study was completed and reported on in Q1. A second study to examine high frequency sounds of turbine operation has been initiated during this reporting period.
We are using an adaptive management—or continued learning—approach to environmental monitoring and reporting. Part of this involves continuously reviewing our approach with regulators, including what information is a part of our monitoring reports and why. We will continue to revise how we approach reporting and monitoring based on feedback from regulators.
We know from current public opinion research that most Nova Scotians support demonstration scale in-stream tidal projects. We appreciate the ongoing support of Nova Scotians and the confidence that has been placed in us while we continue this important demonstration project.
Read the full Q3 Report here.