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C-CORE developing water ecosystems monitoring service for Canada’s north

St. John’s-based remote sensing innovator captures Canadian Space Agency (CSA) contract to develop advanced monitoring service that uses data from CSA-supported Earth Observation missions (https://www.c-core.ca/home)

St. John’s, NL, 07 October 2014 – To provide the information needed to better understand our planet and manage its natural resources, C-CORE is looking to space. Making effective use of data from Canadian Space Agency (CSA)-supported Earth observation missions, C-CORE is working to develop, demonstrate and provide the tools to implement a satellite-based monitoring program for the Northwest Territories’ Slave River and Delta.

The Water Ecosystems Monitoring using Earth Observation (WEMEO) project was designed by C-CORE, working with the Government of the Northwest Territories, to gather information about the quality and abundance of the water the Slave River and Delta region.

The program will monitor key environmental indicators, including water levels, flooding, course changes, temperature, ice build-up, sediment deposits and vegetation. In addition to providing information on water ecosystem health, such monitoring serves the needs of remote northern communities by giving early warning of potential safety hazards or threats to traditional food supplies. Reasons for monitoring these indicators include the following potential threats:

  • Changes in flooding regimes can affect the productivity of the Delta.
  • Changes in water temperature can degrade the quality of fish.
  • Heavy river ice build-up can threaten traditional winter food such as beaver and muskrat; weak or thin ice poses danger to travellers.
  • Changing river courses can affect the ability of communities to access hunting and fishing grounds.
  • Sediment flowing into the river could be a source of contamination; identifying its origin is critical to assessing the potential threat.

This project, initiated September 2014, builds on C-CORE’s existing satellite-based environmental monitoring services, creating a comprehensive suite of tools for monitoring water ecosystem health in remote regions.

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For further information, contact:
Deirdre Greene, Communications & Outreach
T: 709.864.3083 / Email: deirdre.greene@c-core.ca

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