On Wednesday November 7th, 2018 approximately 50 people came together to celebrate the successes of year 1 of the NSERC Strategic Partnership Grant with Parks Canada, entitled “Science to support Parks Canada’s historic Rideau and Trent-Severn waterways to maintain and enhance ecosystem services”. The workshop was hosted by Dr. Steven Cooke at Carleton University, in collaboration with six professors from three Canadian universities and two Parks Canada scientists from two regional offices, including:
- Steven Cooke– Professor, Department of Biology and Institute of Environmental Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
- Chantal Vis– Ecosystem Scientist, Parks Canada, Gatineau, ON
- Colin Rennie– Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
- Dany Garant– Professor, Department of Biology, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC
- Gabriel Blouin-Demers– Professor, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
- Jesse Vermaire– Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON
- Joseph Bennett- Professor, Institute of Environmental Science and Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
- Nathan Young– Professor, Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
- Valerie Minelga– Environmental Assessment Scientist, Waterways Project Delivery, Parks Canada, Peterborough, ON
Over 15 graduate and undergraduate students attended the workshop and presented their current and ongoing research, within the following three over-arching objectives:
- The influence of dams and lock stations on abiotic (i.e. water, sediment, nutrients) and biotic (i.e., plankton, recreational fish, at risk fish and turtles, invasive species) connectivity at a system and at a reach scale
- Identify the effects of shoreline habitat and aquatic macrophyte management strategies on ecosystem structure
- Investigate the perspectives of key stakeholders related to waterway management scenarios and communication strategies.
In attendance at the workshop were practitioners and stakeholders from throughout the Rideau Canal and Trent-Severn waterways, including Parks Canada regional offices, Conservation Authorities (Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority), NGOs (Muskies Canada, Big Rideau Lake Association), and stakeholders.
The purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum for those actively involved in the research associated with the NSERC SPG to share and disseminate their work, and to generate new opportunities and synergies between projects.
The workshop will be hosted annually in the fall for the next 3 years as a way to communicate scientific findings directly with Parks Canada scientists, managers, and practitioners. It will also provide the forum for Parks Canada staff to discuss information needs and to help guide future research to support the historic waterways.