Oceans Protection Plan projects

List of Oceans Protection Plan research projects.

Description Eco-region Year(s) Project Status
Examination of the toxicity of diluted bitumen on freshwater fish

Much remains to be understood about the toxicity of diluted bitumen to aquatic species. Bitumen is a black, viscous mixture of hydrocarbons that is commonly used as a binder in asphalt. Diluted bitumen (dilbit) is bitumen blended with one or more lighter petroleum products (diluent) to reduce its viscosity to make it easier to ...

Priorities addressed: Oil and Gas

Principal investigator: Dr. Patrice Couture, INRS-ETE (Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Centre Eau Terre Environnement)

National 2017-20 20182019 Ongoing
Effects and biomarkers of diluted bitumen exposure relevant to seawater transition in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Pipelines carrying diluted bitumen (dilbit) from the Alberta oil sands cross watersheds that are critical habitat for many freshwater fish, and as the volume of dilbit being moved increases, so does the risk of a spill. Crude oils are highly toxic to aquatic organisms.

Priorities addressed: Oil and Gas

Principal investigator: Dr. Todd Gillis, University of Guelph

Atlantic: Gulf of St Lawrence 2017-2020 20182019 Ongoing
Enabling rapid evaluation of biological effects of oil spills on juvenile Pacific salmon in coastal habitats

As the volume of petroleum products transported by pipeline and ocean-going tankers increases, so does the risk of oil spills. Three recent spills in British Columbia involving different types of petroleum products highlight the need to learn more about how oil spills affect marine life in cold coastal waters.

Priorities addressed: Oil and Gas

Principal investigator: Dr. Caren Helbing, University of Victoria

Pacific Coast: Strait of Georgia, Southern Shelf, Northern Shelf 2017-2020 20182019 Ongoing
Evaluating effects of the Husky Energy pipeline spill on fishes in the North Saskatchewan River

In July 2016, a buried pipeline near Maidstone, Saskatchewan, ruptured and spilled approximately 250,000 litres of diluted bitumen (dilbit), with much of it ending up in the North Saskatchewan River. Since there is little known about the impacts of dilbit exposure on freshwater organisms ...

Priorities addressed: Oil and Gas

Principal investigator: Dr. Timothy Jardine, University of Saskatchewan

Boreal Plains 2017-2020 20182019 Ongoing
Responses of Wild Fish to a Controlled Spill of Diluted Bitumen in Enclosures Deployed in a Boreal Lake at the International Institute for Sustainable Development-Experimental Lake Area (IISD-ELA), Northwestern Ontario

Considerable research has examined the behaviour of oil spills in marine environments; however there is little information about the potential impacts of a spill on freshwater lakes, as well as the recovery rates in the aquatic environment. To address this knowledge gap, the National Contaminants Advisory Group (NCAG) is funding research into ...

Priorities addressed: Oil and Gas

Principal investigator: Dr. Valérie Langlois, Institut national de la recherche scientifique Centre - Eau Terre Environnement (QC)

Principal Co-investigator: Dr. Vince Palace, IISD - Experimental Lakes Area Inc. (MB)

National 2017-2021 201820192020 Ongoing
The environmental effects of diluted bitumen on marine phytoplankton, macroalgae, and intertidal vascular plants

Shipments of crude oil and other substances in Canada’s coastal waters are expected to increase significantly over the coming years given the proposed increases in tanker exports of diluted bitumen (dilbit) and crude oil to overseas markets. This also increases the potential for a marine spill and related risks to ocean life.

Priorities addressed: Oil and Gas

Principal investigator: Dr. Chris Kennedy, Simon Fraser University

Pacific Coast: Strait of Georgia, Southern Shelf, Northern Shelf 2017-2020 20182019 Ongoing
Modeling the Fate/Transport of Refined Oil Product and Assessment of Their Biological Effects

The proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline project is anticipated to increase tanker traffic and correspondingly the risk of oil spills in Vancouver Harbour and the Salish Sea—an intricate network of coastal waterways encompassing the Strait of Georgia ...

Priorities addressed: Oil and Gas

Principal investigator: Dr. Haibo Niu, Dalhousie University

Pacific Coast: Strait of Georgia,Southern Shelf 2017-2018 Ongoing
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