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Baselines and biodegradation potential in Atlantic Canada’s deepwater offshore oil prospects

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    Casey Hubert University of Calgary

Baseline assessments in advance of industrial projects, such as those being considered by BP, Shell and Statoil in deepwater offshore Nova Scotia, are essential. They allow for the most robust future environmental effects monitoring (EEM) of ecosystem resilience, background levels of pollution, and overall environmental change, during 'normal' operations of the offshore oil industry. The ability to sensitively monitor the marine environment will be improved by baseline and EEM metrics rooted in microbiology and genomics, which are more sensitive than macro invertebrate survey tools currently used. As such, the project will deliver enhanced environmental monitoring for governments (Nova Scotia), industry (oil companies) and consultants that, recommend, perform and interpreting baselines and EEM (Stantec).