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Environmental assessment is only the beginning of the story. Environmental monitoring looks at what actually happens during construction, compares effects to what was predicted during the impact assessment, and triggers any mitigation needed to prevent harm to the environment.

CEF designs monitoring programs that meet government regulatory requirements and are cost-effective, while making the best possible use of local people and resources. We intimately involve those most affected in the design, implementation, and reporting of monitoring programs. We incorporate a cross-specialty team of scientific advisors and stakeholders into every monitoring program, to ensure that it both addresses community concerns and employs a top-notch statistical design.

We are particularly proud of our expertise in coastal zone marine monitoring. For Sable Offshore Energy Inc., for example, CEF designed and managed the biophysical parts of the Nearshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program for a large offshore natural gas and liquids project. For Little Narrows Gypsum Company, we planned and implemented a comprehensive program to monitor impacts on fish migrations and the effects of sediments on habitat critical to the valuable lobster fishery. Our program was an essential part of a major dredging project that deepened the channel leading to the company's wharf at the main entrance to the sensitive Bras d'Or Lakes of Cape Breton. 

We have also successfully monitored on-land and aquatic construction effects for road-building and strip-mining projects. We're happy to discuss your monitoring needs with you, large or small.

Monitoring Details

The historic SOEI pipeline, the first to carry natural gas and condensate to Nova Scotia from the offshore, came ashore on the coast of a sensitive estuary. Issues ranged from a colony of endangered terns, to valuable sea urchin and lobster fisheries, to sediment run-off into brook trout habitat. CEF staff worked closely with the local fishermen's cooperative to implement the program, and trained community members in many technical areas. Community members carried out tasks from diving to establish and record benchmark stations on the seabed, to the operation of a plankton sample identification lab. We put into place a rigorous science-based effects monitoring program, while bringing skills and financial benefits to the local people.

The Big Bras d'Or Fishermen's Association took on the job of providing marine services to the project. The fish finders on their boats were calibrated at a custom designed installation, and hydroacoustic surveys run to show the migration patterns around the dredging activity. The local fishermen identified the habitat areas that were of key importance to them; we established permanent monitoring stations there, and assessed habitat quality changes with video transects and fixed quadrats. Our rapport with the Association was such a success that its president is now one of our associates, advising us on fishermen's issues and assisting with community liaison. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans approved the theory, technology and conclusions of the project through a full science review process at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.           

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