Environmental Effects Monitoring Program Quarterly Report July-September 2022

This report provides a summary of monitoring activities and data analyses completed at the FORCE site up to the end of the third quarter of 2022. In addition, it also highlights findings from international research efforts, previous data collection periods at the FORCE site, and additional research work that is being conducted by FORCE and its partners. This includes updates on the Risk Assessment Program (RAP), subsea instrumentation platform deployments through the Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) Program, and a research and development program called the VITALITY Innovation Ecosystem Activity Project. Finally, the report presents details regarding future research and monitoring efforts at the FORCE test site. 

Key updates in this report include:

- A special issue of Frontiers in Marine Science entitled ‘Novel Technologies for Assessing the Environmental and Ecological Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy Systems’ is now published and open access. A selection of the published papers can be found in Appendices II – V of this report.

- Lowe et al. (2022) recently published a study describing the newly developed machine learning model called Echofilter and its effectiveness at determining the boundary line of entrained air contamination in hydroacoustic data sets from the FORCE site.

- The RAP receiver array was successfully recovered in early September. Data from the receivers have now been downloaded and are being used to validate the species distribution model predictions.

- Bangley et al. 2022 recently published a study showing the importance of physical oceanographic variables in influencing species distribution in a highly dynamic marine environment. This paper focused on the distribution of striped bass during the months of October to December and is an important milestone for the RAP project by demonstrating how acoustic tag detections of fish can predict potential spatial and temporal overlap with proposed tidal energy project developments.