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Sidney Island Shorebirds Survey transects line feature.
Sidney Island Shorebird Surveys transects area feature.
The dataset contains the blended (gauge and satellite estimates) monthly mean precipitation rates (unit: mm/day) for Canada for the period from January 1979 to December 2007, at a half degree spatial resolution. Please refer to the paper below for the details of the blending algorithm and input gauge and satellite data. Reference: Lin, A. and X. L. Wang, 2011: An algorithm for Blending Multiple Satellite Precipitation Estimates with in-situ Precipitation Measurements in Canada. JGR-Atmospheres, 116, D21111, doi:10.1029/2011JD016359.
Wild fish community data (species, abundance, diversity, length, weight) for 2013 and 2019 are now available for tributaries of the Athabasca River (rivers Steepbank, Ells, Firebag, High Hills, Dunkirk, Horse, Muskeg, Tar and Calumet) and 2017 data for rivers and creeks adjacent to Christina Lake (Christina River, Sunday Creek, Birch Creek, Sawbones Creek, Jackfish Creek and Unnamed Creek). The composition and diversity of the fish communities in these waterbodies have been evaluated over time to identify changes in the presence and abundance of fish species in these waterbodies adjacent to SAGD oil sands mining activity and at sites that are outside of the Athabasca Oil Sands deposit and not influenced by mining activities. Not all waterbodies are adjacent to mining activities and these provide some information as to the natural variability and stability of these fish communities over time. This involved establishing baseline conditions in fish communities in the fall of 2013, 2017 and 2019. This baseline data has assisted in tracking changes in fish communities of these waterbodies over time. Fish community assessments (non-lethal sampling) were carried out in a reach of river using a Smith-Root 12B backpack, Smith-Root LR-24 backpack and or seine at the sites identified in Section 2.3. Length, weight, species identification, and external assessment were performed on fish collected. Fish were then returned to the water at the site of capture. This fish community assessment work commenced September 17th to 27th, 2013, October 3rd to 8th, 2017 and September 24th to October 2nd, 2019. This monitoring activity compliments and supports the Wild Fish Health program.
Sidney Island Shorebirds Survey peep counts.
The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program provides data and information to track Canada's performance on key environmental sustainability issues. The Water quantity in Canadian rivers indicators provide information about the state of the amount of surface water in Canada and its change through time to support water resource management. They are used to provide information about the state and trends in water quantity in Canada. Information is provided to Canadians in a number of formats including: static and interactive maps, charts and graphs, HTML and CSV data tables and downloadable reports. See the supplementary documentation for the data sources and details on how the data were collected and how the indicator was calculated.
As part of a scientific assessment of critical habitat for boreal woodland caribou (Environment Canada 2011, see full reference in accompanying documentation), Environment Canada's Landscape Science and Technology Division was tasked with providing detailed anthropogenic disturbance mapping across known caribou ranges. This data allowed researchers to better understand the attributes that have a known effect on caribou population persistence. The mapping process was established to create a nationally consistent, reliable and repeatable geospatial dataset that followed a common methodology. The methods developed were focused on mapping disturbances at a specific point of time, and were not designed to identify the age of disturbances, which can be of particular interest for disturbances that can be considered non-permanent, for example cutblocks. The resultant datasets were used for caribou resource selection function,habitat modeling, and assess overall disturbance levels on each caribou ranges. Anthropogenic disturbances within 57 caribou ranges across Canada were mapped. The ranges were defined by individual Provinces and Territories across Canada. Disturbances were mapped across these ranges using 2008-2010 Landsat-5 satellite imagery to provide the most up to date data possible. Originally some areas were mapped to match the date of collected caribou demographic data, however more recent imagery was used and additional disturbance features that were seen since the original mapping date were added. Within the context of this project, anthropogenic disturbance was defined as any human-caused disturbance to the natural landscape that could be visually identified from Landsat imagery at a viewing scale of 1:50,000. A minimum mapping unit (MMU) of 2 ha or approximately 22 contiguous Landsat pixels was selected. Each disturbance feature type was represented in the database by a line or polygon depending on their geometric description. Polygonal disturbances included: cutblocks, mines, reservoirs, built-up areas, well sites, agriculture, oil and gas facilities, as well as unknown features. Linear disturbances included: roads, railways, powerlines, seismic exploration lines, pipelines, dams, air strips, as well as unknown features. For each anthropogenic feature type, a clear description was established (see Appendix 7.2 of the science assessment) to maintain consistency in identifying the various disturbances in the imagery by the different interpreters. Various ancillary vector datasets were used as aids in detecting, classifying and digitizing disturbances on the Landsat imagery (a table listing these datasets and their sources has been included in a separate file). Ancillary data was used to guide interpretation and feature labelling since the ancillary data was often variable across the country in terms of completeness as well as scale. As a result, features were only digitized if they were visible in the Landsat imagery at a viewing scale of 1:50,000. A 2nd interpreter quality control phase was carried out to ensure high quality, completete and consistent data collection. A quality assessment analysis, since an actual accuracy assessment was not possible, using high resolution SPOT imagery was carried out on a sample basis. Results are included in accompanying documentation. The vector data was buffered by 500m (radius) representing the zone of influence impacting boreal caribou herds in order to calculate range disturbance levels as well as for use in the integrated risk assessment analysis. Fire polygons were merged into the anthropogenic footprint in order to create an overall disturbance footprint.
The national wetland layer contains wetland data compiled from the best available data from each region, classified by wetland type. Wetlands are mapped as polygons in geographic layers, which are integrated into a master geodatabase at the national scale.Information from each contributing dataset was classified based on the Canadian Wetland Classification System, which contains five main wetland classes (Bog, Fen, Marsh, Swamp, and Shallow Water) that represent the types of wetlands encountered in Canada. An additional category, “partially classified” was used to preserve boundary information for wetlands that could not be classified into the main categories with existing information.
Shallow groundwater and the interaction of these waters with surface water in the mineable area of the Athabasca oil sands region are being examined to assess the role and importance of groundwater in the regional river ecosystems. Groundwater quality chemistry data is available from 182 shallow groundwater samples collected below the Athabasca, Ells, Muskeg and Steepbank rivers and 2 monitoring wells near an existing tailings impoundment. Additionally 5 surface water samples were also collected for comparative purposes. All samples were collected between 2009 and 2011 and include analyses for up to 60 parameters, including electrical conductivity, pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen concentration, major ions, trace metals, total concentrations of naphthenic acids, fluorescence intensity using synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS) and others. Statistical analyses indicate that shallow riparian groundwater proximate to a tailings pond and groundwater collected away from the any tailings pond were indistinguishable for nearly all parameters assessed with a few exceptions. The analyses also identified a small subset of groundwater samples that have some chemical similarities to OSPW (Oil Sands Process-Affected Water). Further investigations may be required to evaluate the nature and ecological significance of groundwater at these locations. Further context, interpretation and discussion of this data may be found in “Profiling oil sands mixtures from industrial developments and natural groundwaters for source identification,” which was published in Vol. 48 (5), pp. 2660–2670, January 2014 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology and “Assessing risks of shallow riparian groundwater quality near an oil sands tailings pond” published in 2016 in the journal Groundwater (Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 545-558).
Water Quality Monitoring on Tributaries in the Athabasca River Oil Sands Region Ells River (EL1, ELLS RIFF 2, ELLS RIFF5 [2012-2015]) Mackay River (MA1 [2012-2015], MA2 [2013-2015]) Steepbank River (STB RIFF1, STB WSC, STB RIFF7, STB RIFF10 [2012-2015]) Firebag River (FI1, FI WSC [2012-2015]) Muskeg River (MU1 [2012-2015]), MU6 [2012-2015]), MU7 ) High Hills River (HIHI1 [2013-2015]) Water quality of tributaries in the Athabasca River oil sands region is heavily influenced by the presence of the underlying Cretaceous bedrock, which is comprised of shale, sandstone and limestone. The waters are moderately hard (average alkalinity of 114 mg l-1 CaCO3) because of their mineral content, particularly magnesium (average 8.62 mg l-1), calcium (average 28.06 mg l-1) and bicarbonate (138.53 mg l-1). This mineral content results in an average conductivity of 245 +/- 4 µS cm-1 and total dissolved solids concentration of 140 +/- 2 ppm. Concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus (indicators of nutrient status) are typically low to moderate, averaging 0.14 mg l-1 total phosphorus, 0.03 mg l-1 total dissolved phosphorus, 0.92 mg l-1 total nitrogen, 0.09 mg l-1 nitrogen as nitrate+nitrite, and 0.04 mg l-1 nitrogen as total ammonia. Seasonal variation for the majority of water quality constituents within the Athabasca tributaries can be strong and is highly reflective of hydrological discharge (i.e., highest concentrations typically occur during snowmelt periods, especially for parameters that are bound to particulate matter). Spatial variation of parameters within tributaries general showed an increasing trend from upstream of development to samples collected downstream of development (near mouth of a tributary). Of the 45 water quality constituents (physical characteristics, major ions, metals, metalloids, selenium) and 52 Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PACs) analyzed, 28 have Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment – CCME). Only a few parameters were classified with frequent exceedances (i.e., >10% of of the approximately 1430 samples): total iron, 99% of all samples; total aluminum, 61%; total suspended solids, 39%; and total copper, 17%. All measurements of total mercury were below the CCME guideline; only pyrene from the PACs showed occasional exceedances (2% of samples) for established guidelines. Exceedances of guidelines are not uncommon in many river systems within and outside of the Oil Sands region and, in general, are associated with high flow events when suspended solids and contaminant loads are the greatest. High concentrations of suspended sediment (measured as total suspended solids) were observed during high flow events, such as occur during snowmelt and summer rainfall events. The high percentage of exceedances for iron was expected as these waters are known to have naturally-occurring high concentrations of iron. Mercury in Tributaries This data set includes river water concentrations of total mercury (THg; all forms of mercury in a sample) and methyl mercury (MeHg; the form of mercury that bioaccumulates through food webs) in five Athabasca River tributaries (Ells, Steepbank, Firebag, Muskeg and MacKay rivers). No samples exceeded the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines for THg and MeHg.