Tracking fish at Beaubassin

Tracking fish at Beaubassin

How student researcher Rachelle Breau is helping to improve the health of our freshwater ecosystems

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Wetlands are a vital part of our coastal ecosystems and provide important benefits for humans and animals alike. For more than 50 years, Irving Oil has worked in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada to help protect Atlantic Canadian wetlands and the wildlife that call them home.

This summer, Irving Oil is funding local student researcher Rachelle Breau to work on an initiative aimed at improving fish passage and connectivity between the Bay of Fundy and freshwater ecosystems.

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Rachelle is conducting her research from the Beaubassin Research Centre. The Centre was first founded in 2006 by Irving Oil through the efforts of our Chairman, Arthur Irving, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada and Acadia University. Located near Aulac, NB, Beaubassin sits at the crossroads of the Maritime provinces on more than 1,000 acres of coastal Tantramar marshlands and provides world-class research opportunities for students and researchers across Atlantic Canada.

Tagging and tracking Alewife fish from dawn to dusk, Rachelle’s research is helping to establish the number of migrating fish entering the wetland from the ocean. These fish bring vital nutrients to coastal rivers, wetlands and lakes.

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Rachelle is optimistic about how her research, which is helping her complete an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Geography, will be applied to help the team advance new designs to increase the passage of multiple fish species to the wetland.

“It’s encouraging to know that once fish passage is improved, future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy growing populations of alewife and other fishes, and healthy lakes and wetlands which support not only fishes but waterfowl and many other species,” she says.

We’re excited that Rachelle is part of this unique partnership of industry, academia and conservation. Together, we can protect our Atlantic Canadian coastlines and the wildlife that call them home.