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Canadian Ocean Acidification Research Program (COARp)

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    Helmuth Thomas Dalhousie University

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    Peter Tyedmers Dalhousie University

Using selected coastal marine sites along Canada’s coastline for case studies to investigate the vulnerability of living marine resources and related industries to ocean acidification.

COARp has improved understanding of the contemporary regional-scale shelf/basin CO2 chemistry that underpins changes that affect inshore ecosystems, resources and communities.

The project team has:

  • Undertaken analyses of the contemporary CO2 chemistry at inshore sites to evaluate the link between offshore observations and terrestrial-source effects.
  • Investigated the recent historical evolution of the CO2 chemistry at inshore sites to elucidate the timing and extent of change, if any that is occurring.
  • Analyzed the socio-economic risk posed by OA to select species, industries and communities.
  • Focused its efforts on select, broadly representative, coastal marine regions, informed by the team’s extant knowledge, experience and end-user partnerships and includes the Maritimes, the Gulf of St Lawrence and Hudson Bay, the Canadian Arctic, and to a more limited extent the Pacific coast.
  • Directly advanced MEOPAR's vision and goals of (a) "Improved management and communication of marine environmental data and risk to end-users and the public;" and (b) "Improved ocean literacy" by providing documented insights about the nature, timing and extent of OA-related impacts over time scales important to end-users and communities that are seemingly most vulnerable to OA.

Insight regarding the functional risks posed by OA has also improved the efficacy of coastal resource management, community development policy formulation and communications related to the socio-economic risks posed by OA. COARps work has been embedded in international initiatives, such as NECAN (US) and key European projects.


  • Jonathan Lemay Dalhousie University


  • Charles,Anthony,Bailey, M., B. Favaro, S. Otto, R. Devillers, A. Metaxas, P. Tyedmers, N. C. Ban, T. Mason, C. Hoover, T. J. Duck, L. Fanning, C. Milley, A. M. Cisneros-Montemayor, D. Pauly, W. W. L. Cheung, S. Cullis-Suzuki, L. Teh, and U.R. Sumaila.. 0, Canada at a crossroad: The imperative for realigning ocean policy with ocean science, Marine Policy,
  • Kuzyk,ZouZou,Macdonald, R.W., Johannessen, S.C.. 2015, It is not just about the ice: a geochemical perspective on the changing Arctic Ocean, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5, 288-301,
  • Mucci,Alfonso,. 2016, Menace au large: L'acidification des océans, Coeur de Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal,
  • Mucci,Alfonso,. 2015, Ocean Acidification: The indisputable problem, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario Ciencias Marinas,
  • Kuzyk,ZouZou,Macdonald, R.W., Johannessen, S.C.. 2016, The vulnerability of arctic shelf sediments to climate change, Environ. Rev., 23, 461–479,
  • Kuzyk,ZouZou,Ehn, J., Macdonald, R.W.. 2015, Winter Estuarine Processes in the Coastal Corridor, SE Hudson Bay and Effects of Environmental Change, ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting 2015, 7-11,
  • Mucci,Alfonso,Dinauer A.. 2016, pCO2 des eaux de surface dans l’estuaire du Saint-Laurent: dépendance des processus physiques et biogéochimiques, GEOTOP Student Symposium,

COARnet proposes to investigate the vulnerability of living marine resources and related industries to ocean acidification (OA) in Canada, using selected coastal marine sites distributed along Canada’s coastline for case studies.

COARnet will investigate the threats of OA, directly and by engaging stakeholders, to local economies from seasonal to decadal (century) time scales in order to allow for informed decisions that facilitate long-term, sustainable economic use of living marine resources by subsistence to industrial-scale aquaculture or harvesting industries.