Sept-Îles, March 6, 2020 – The Port of Sept-Îles and INREST Northern Institute for Research in Environment and Occupational Health and Safety are proud today to welcome the Canadian Coast Guard’s research icebreaker Amundsen. The Amundsen carries the Odyssée Saint-Laurent research program’s third winter oceanography mission, collecting advanced data on the St. Lawrence Estuary ecosystem in winter.
Lead investigator Jean Carlos Montero-Serrano will come aground briefly with his 25-member research team from a dozen institutions, including INREST, to meet local stakeholders and media for a quick rundown of what the mission will be looking for.
That will include sampling at locations within the waters of the Port of Sept-Îles. Those samples will yield strategic winter results to complement the data already collected by the Bay of Sept-Îles Environmental Observatory.
“The Port and the Observatory are tremendously lucky to have this opportunity,” said Port of Sept-Îles president and CEO Pierre D. Gagnon. “The data we have access to as part of the Odyssée Saint-Laurent research loop will boost our understanding of this precious ecosystem and help us manage our operations sustainably.”
Sept-Îles’s port area is nationally and internationally recognized for maritime research, thanks to the tremendous amount of high‑quality data generated by INREST and its partners.
“We and our research partners,” said INREST director Julie Carrière, “have developed a host of resources, like the Environmental Monitoring Observatory for the industrial port area and the research chair on coastal ecosystems and industrial and maritime port activities. They make it possible for us to collaborate on this mission today and to really make a difference in the field of ecosystem conservation. And all this,” said Dr. Carrière in conclusion, “is only possible through the support of our funding partners, such as the Port of Sept-Îles.”
For Réseau Québec maritime, which is organizing the mission, today’s event really shows the benefits of collaboration in coastal environmental research.
“The future of the St. Lawrence Estuary depends on everyone pitching in,” said Réseau Québec maritime director Dany Dumont. “The only way to get a complete picture of the province’s marine industry is if researchers, industry, and the community all get together and share their expertise and resources.”
CCGS Amundsen’s 2020 winter mission runs until March 14. Follow it on the RQM or INREST Facebook or Twitter accounts.
The Northern Institute for Research in Environment and Occupational Health and Safety (INREST) is a nonprofit organization investigating environmental and occupational health issues. INREST is internationally recognized for its industrial-port-area environmental monitoring station for marine ecosystem conservation—Quebec’s biggest—and its industrial port expertise division, CEIP centre.
About the Port of Sept-Îles
The Port of Sept- Îles is North America’s largest ore-handling port, with a projected volume of just under 35 million tonnes in 2020 going through diverse, state-of-the-art facilities. Its marine ecosystem observatory makes it a pioneer on the St. Lawrence system and shows how sustainability is firmly anchored in the Port’s values and actions.
About Réseau Québec maritime
Réseau Québec maritime is a network of 166 institutions founded in May 2016, connecting all the province’s marine sector universities, Cégeps, college centres for technology transfer, research centres, public and semipublic organizations, community organizations, and industries. It is hosted and managed by UQAR, tasked with making the province a world leader in sustainable marine development. RQM’s funding partners are Quebec’s Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and Fonds de recherche du Québec.
About Odyssée Saint-Laurent
Odyssée Saint-Laurent is an ambitious research program at Réseau Québec maritime. It focuses on three themes—Discovery, Applications, and Open Innovation—and receives $15 million in funding from Ministère de l’Économie de l’Innovation du Québec. The aim of the program is to add to our knowledge of St. Lawrence ecosystems, their biodiversity and environmental stress factors affecting them, and to develop tools, technologies, and new practices in sustainable marine development.
Réseau Québec maritime
418-968-4801, ext. 5720
Port of Sept-Îles
Pierre D. Gagnon
President and Chief Executive Officer