Environment and Conservation
November 4, 2008

Climate Change Pilot Project Receives Funding to Monitor Ocean Conditions

Students in the Clarenville area will learn first-hand about climate change, its effects on ocean temperatures, currents, sea level rise, coastal ecosystems and the fishery through a climate change pilot project to be launched in January 2009.

The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Acting Minister of Environment and Conservation, said the Provincial Government is pleased to provide more than $22,000 to assist in launching Coastal Connections Climate Change Pilot Project which will assist students from Clarenville High and Random Island Academy gather data on how climate change impacts the fishery and, in turn, their own communities.

"This project�s objectives are in line with government�s commitment to address climate change issues related to fisheries and aquaculture, environmental monitoring and increased climate change awareness, as outlined in our Climate Change Action Plan," said Minister Jackman. "The coastal and ocean environment in our province will continue to be affected by our changing climate which impacts our coastal communities and our way of life, and we need to actively monitor these conditions."

Administered by Coastal Connections Ltd., a tour company focused on providing natural history educational cruises, the pilot project will involve classroom sessions on such topics as ocean temperatures, currents, salinity, and sea level rise. Following the classroom experience, students will have a day on the M.V. Coastal Explorer, Coastal Connection�s certified tour and research vessel, where they will study and monitor various ocean parameters and plankton at established monitoring stations. They will gain first hand knowledge on sampling techniques and the effects of climate change on plankton, larval fish, aquaculture, as well as other changes in oceanographic conditions.

"We are grateful to the Department of Environment and Conservation for funding this project," said Captain Jan Negrijn, President of Coastal Connections Ltd. "The funding will certainly enhance our ability to work with school groups in raising awareness of the close relationship between our oceans and climate change. Our goal is to work with young people and help them develop a deep and lasting appreciation for the role that the ocean plays in all our lives."

"This unique project has two significant goals � the collection of necessary baseline data for climate change monitoring, and the development of a tool to educate the youth of the province on coastal climate change impacts," said Minister Jackman. "I wish them well in this endeavour which is a valuable opportunity to actively engage youth in climate change issues."

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Media contact:

Melony O�Neill
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-0928


2008 11 04                                                      10:50 a.m.

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