Ecological Research Program
Eelgrass beds are critical habitat and nurseries for numerous species critical to the Bay of Fundy region. Despite their value, very little research has been conducted on their status and how they may be affected by stressors secondary to climate change or anthropogenic in origin.
Over the past 3-5 years ongoing work has been conducted following the cyclical changes to one specific eelgrass bed near Metaghan, Nova Scotia, identifying changes in density and health of this bed.
Beach Pollution Evaluation
Yearly OERS volunteers and summer students have gone to various beach locations in both Claire and Digby County, collecting man made debris, weighing and cataloguing the types found. Not only does this improve the cleanliness of these areas but also removes these potential hazards from further affecting wildlife, either through ingestion or entanglement.
Effects of Plastics on the Environment
Plastics are one of the most common pollutants, contributing many tonnes yearly to ocean pollution. The large visible plastics are hazardous as they can be erroneously consumed by various aquatic species as it can resemble prey (eg plastic bags = jellyfish, etc). In addition, micro and nanoplastics are becoming of significant concern as they can enter the body, cause fatalities and also leach contaminants such as PCBs as they break down. OERS is investigating the magnitude of the potential contribution of these plastics in the Bay of Fundy region.