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  • The assessment of the status of eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds at the bay-scale in turbid, shallow estuaries is problematic. The bay-scale assessment (i.e., tens of km) of eelgrass beds usually involves remote sensing methods such as aerial photography or satellite imagery. These methods can fail if the water column is turbid, as is the case for many shallow estuaries on Canada’s eastern seaboard. A novel towfish package was developed for the bay-scale assessment of eelgrass beds irrespective of water column turbidity. The towfish consisted of an underwater video camera with scaling lasers, sidescan sonar and a transponder-based positioning system. The towfish was deployed along predetermined transects in three northern New Brunswick estuaries. Maps were created of eelgrass cover and health (epiphyte load) and ancillary bottom features such as benthic algal growth, bacterial mats (Beggiatoa) and oysters. All three estuaries had accumulations of material reminiscent of the oomycete Leptomitus, although it was not positively identified in our study. Tabusintac held the most extensive eelgrass beds of the best health. Cocagne had the lowest scores for eelgrass health, while Bouctouche was slightly better. The towfish method proved to be cost effective and useful for the bay-scale assessment of eelgrass beds to sub-meter precision in real time.

  • A towfish containing sidescan and video hardware was used to map eelgrass in two shallow northern New Brunswick estuaries. The sidescan and video data were useful in documenting suspected impacts of oyster aquaculture gear and eutrophication on eelgrass. With one boat and a crew of three, the mapping was accomplished at a rate of almost 10 km2 per day. That rate far exceeds what could be accomplished by a SCUBA based survey with the same crew. Moreover, the towfish survey applied with a complementary echosounder survey is potentially a more cost effective mapping method than satellite based remote sensing.

  • Forests cover large areas of Canada but only some of these forests are actively managed. The Map of Forest Management in Canada, 2017 version, provides a generalized classification of forest management in Canada, including: protected areas, Treaty/Settlement Lands (including Treaty Lands identified in Final Agreements, Land Claim Agreements and Settlements), Indian Reserves, other federal reserves (including military training areas), provincial and territorial reserves and restricted use areas, private lands, short- and long-term Crown forest tenure areas and areas with no current Crown timber dispositions. The Managed Forest Map of Canada dataset provides a wall-to-wall classification of lands in Canada. It does not differentiate areas of forest from non-forest. The Managed Forest Map of Canada differs from maps defining the area designated as “managed forest” for greenhouse gas inventory reporting purposes and does not replace those maps. Instead, the Managed Forest Map of Canada shows areas that are currently managed, as of June 2017, and provides generalized management type classification for those areas. Collaborating agencies plan to update the dataset periodically as needed, and remain open to receiving advice from experts concerning refinement priorities for future versions.

  • On July 6, a 72-car train, carrying 100 tons of crude oil each, exploded at Lac-Mégantic. The fire is now extinguished. Several buildings in the city centre were destroyed. Some 40 buildings would be affected, including residences and businesses. The yellow perimeter (still active) corresponds to the controlled access zone. The red perimeter (inactive) corresponded to the restricted area for emergency responders. The green perimeter (inactive) was the reintegration zone. Purpose: To identify in the field the various perimeters related to ongoing operations. **This third party metadata element was translated using an automated translation tool (Amazon Translate).**

  • A towfish containing sidescan and video hardware was used to map eelgrass in two shallow northern New Brunswick estuaries. The sidescan and video data were useful in documenting suspected impacts of oyster aquaculture gear and eutrophication on eelgrass. With one boat and a crew of three, the mapping was accomplished at a rate of almost 10 km2 per day. That rate far exceeds what could be accomplished by a SCUBA based survey with the same crew. Moreover, the towfish survey applied with a complementary echosounder survey is potentially a more cost effective mapping method than satellite based remote sensing.

  • Kernel density estimation (KDE) utilizes spatially explicit data to model the distribution of a variable of interest. It is a simple non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function that relies on few assumptions about the structure of the observed data. It has been used in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance, and in 2010 was used by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to delineate significant concentrations of corals and sponges. The same approach has been used successfully in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area. Here, we update the previous analyses with the catch records from up to 5 additional years of trawl survey data from Eastern Canada, including the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. We applied kernel density estimation to create a modelled biomass surface for each of sponges, small and large gorgonian corals, and sea pens, and applied an aerial expansion method to identify significant concentrations of these taxa. We compared our results to those obtained previously and provided maps of significant concentrations as well as point data co-ordinates for catches above the threshold values used to construct the significant area polygons. The borders of the polygons can be refined using knowledge of null catches and species distribution models of species presence/absence and/or biomass.

  • Finback whale presence in the Bay of Fundy and Port Hawkesbury Response Plan Areas. The Coastal Oceanography and Ecosystem Research section (DFO Science) reviewed reported opportunistic whale sightings and local knowledge sources to estimate areas where Finback whales are seasonally present and delineate these areas. A version of this dataset was created for the National Environmental Emergency Center (NEEC) following their data model and is available for download in the Resources section.

  • Grey Seal presence in the Bay of Fundy and Port Hawkesbury Area Response Plan. The Coastal Oceanography and Ecosystem Research section (DFO Science) reviewed reported opportunistic sightings and local knowledge sources to estimate areas where Grey Seals are present and delineated these areas. A version of this dataset was created for the National Environmental Emergency Center (NEEC) following their data model and is available for download in the Resources section.

  • This dataset is comprised of the spatial boundaries for the Port Hawkesbury and Saint John pilot areas within the Oceans Protection Plan - Area Response Plan (ARP) project.

  • The Coastal Oceanography and Ecosystem Research section (DFO Science) reviewed the presence of Cod in the Population Ecology Division (DFO Science) Ecosystem Survey trawls to describe the likelihood of presence. The survey consists of a stratified random design using a bottom trawl. This layer was created for consideration in oil spill response planning. A version of this dataset was created for the National Environmental Emergency Center (NEEC) following their data model and is available for download in the Resources section.