The proposed monitoring program for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture has been approved by the Department of Environment.
Approval was provided after department staff reviewed the Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan and consulted with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Approval on the plan allows FORCE to proceed with the initial phase of the demonstration project, which is to deploy two turbines in the Minas Passage for research purposes.
“We are satisfied that the proposed plan, together with the monitoring and study improvements as we have directed, will help address information gaps and improve our understanding of the interaction between the two turbines and marine life in this unique environment,” said Environment Minister Margaret Miller. “If we are to advance our collective knowledge of the turbines’ impact on our fish and marine mammals, demonstration turbines need to be in the water.”
The information collected will help with future decisions. A new monitoring program is required and must be accepted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Department of Environment before any more turbines can be deployed.
In addition, FORCE must develop programs aimed at enhancing marine mammal monitoring and providing more details on contingency planning in the event of equipment failure, data deficiency, or loss of data. Further deployment will require written authorization from the Department of Environment.
A copy of the department’s letter of authorization is available at http://novascotia.ca/nse/ea/minas.passage.tidal.demonstration.asp .