2021 Field Studies

Scientific field studies will be taking place at various times throughout the year along the proposed alternative corridors to understand the existing conditions of the environment including birds, wildlife, vegetation, fish, groundwater, surface water, and terrain/geotechnical. The information we collect through these studies will be strengthened by the Indigenous Knowledge that will be shared with us by Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations and the neighbouring Indigenous Communities.

The following provides a high-level overview of upcoming field study programs and their approximate timelines:

Spring and Fall Waterfowl Aerial Survey: (May 10-13, October 16-19): Low-level aerial surveys over water bodies (lakes, ponds, stream and rivers to estimate the seasonal distribution, abundance and density of waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors.

Bats (detectors were deployed in May): Installation of ultrasonic audio recording devices to document bat species presence and distribution.

Breeding Birds (June 10-18, June 23 – July 2): Installation of audio recording devices and point count surveys to determine presence/absence of species as well as abundance/distribution and the status and trends in the bird populations.

Vegetation, Physiography and Peatlands (June 10-23, July 5-18, September 9-22): Collection of information related to forest and wetland plants, soil conditions and geologic features.

Fish and Fish Habitat (May 31 – June 6, August 9-19): Characterization of fish habitats to understand current conditions at locations along the route alternatives. In place of traditional fish community sampling, eDNA will used to determine the fish community.

Groundwater and Geochemistry (Spring 2022): Installation of groundwater monitoring wells to monitor groundwater levels, quality, and seasonal changes in groundwater levels and quality.

Surface Water (Spring/Summer 2022): Assessment of a subset of water crossings along the route alternatives to collect water and sediment quality data as well as monitor seasonal flows and drainage patterns.

Geotechnical Investigation (Spring 2022): Terrain ground truthing and geotechnical drilling and laboratory testing to assess subsurface conditions and aggregate potential.

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