SEPT-ÎLES, March 2, 2016 – Institut nordique de recherche en environnement et en santé au travail (INREST), the City of Sept-Îles, and the Port of Sept-Îles are pleased with today’s announcement in St. John’s by the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, of funding for Phase II of the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, aka CHONe II, directed by Dr. Paul Snelgrove of Memorial University, Newfoundland. A $5 million five-year grant will be made through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), with an additional $1 million from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The Bay of Sept-Îles area and surroundings are among CHONe II’s research sites. The bay was selected for its combination of northern marine conditions, freshwater inflow, and ongoing industrial, municipal, recreational, and tourist activities. The data collected will go into a marine biodiversity database for Canada’s three surrounding northern oceans and for all northern global regions and will serve as a valuable source of information for future generations.

A number of research projects will be conducted in the Sept-Îles area in partnership with INREST. The earth and its oceans are on the verge of a biodiversity crisis that will likely present challenges just as complex as those presented by climate change. The many types of threats to the health of our oceans make development of a new framework for protecting them an urgent priority. Just as importantly, this framework must encompass university and government scientists as well as the officials who develop policy.

CHONe II is a strategic partnership made up of 39 researchers from 11 Canadian universities, numerous government researchers at federal research labs, and partners such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Oceans Canada, and INREST, representing the City of Sept-Îles and the Port of Sept-Îles. CHONe II is there to meet the need for scientific guidelines to conserve and use marine biodiversity resources sustainably.

The Port and City of Sept-Îles have already committed to $1 million in joint funding for INREST so it can collaborate on research in the region and on the North Shore, and represent them within CHONe II. Of this funding, INREST is to pay $250,000 into CHONe II research directly, with further support contributed in kind. This investment in scientific research is an essential contribution to the work of the research teams in the Sept-Îles area and other Canadian regions so they can develop indicators and management tools for use in preserving northern marine biodiversity.

We also salute the appointment of Dr. Julie Carrière to the CHONe II board of directors as representative of INREST, the Port of Sept-Îles, and the City of Sept-Îles.

Sources:

Julie Carrière
Director
Institut nordique de recherche en environnement et en santé au travail
418-962-9848, ext. 369
julie@inrest.ca
Patsy Keays
Director, Corporate Affairs
Port of Sept-Îles
418-961-1235
Denis Clements
Assistant to the Director
City of Sept-Îles
418-964-3201