Resource Title/Description Resource Types Resource Organizations Resource Years

PROGRAM IMPEMENTATION

Project support to the BRSEA will be jointly provided and managed by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and by the Northern Affairs Organization at CIRNAC

Strategic Plan,Report,Program 2017-2018

Coastal Dynamics – The Acceleration of Change

The rate of coastal change in the Beaufort Region including declining sea ice, warming temperatures and increased forcing events has been accelerated by up to 200 percent. As these drivers will be a heavy burden on vulnerable Arctic ecosystems, infrastructure, and communities in the region, it is essential that an updated coastal assessment be conducted by NRCan’s Climate Change Geoscience Program. The project, in partnership with Northern stakeholders, will provide scientific data on the rate and quality of change, and is necessary to build coastal resilience in the North. Further, it will aid government agencies, corporations and community members understand and mitigate the impacts of these changes.

Organization: Natural Resources Canada

Lead Person: Dustin Whalen

Fiscal Years: 2017-2018

Natural Resources Canada 2017-2018

Arctic Pockmarks, near shore permafrost decay and environmental study

Project Report

NRCan proposes a pilot study to examine geomorphological features in shallow-water along the edge of the Canadian Arctic Ocean where water and gas is known to vent from the seafloor. Pockmark features will be investigated with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and instruments will deployed to monitor environmental conditions. Previous work has explored the outer Arctic shelf where permafrost degradation was caused by geothermal heating. This proposal will shift focus to shallower waters in the Mackenzie River outflow region where mean annual temperatures are above freezing and permafrost decomposition is caused primarily by overlying waters. The geomorphology of the shoreline environment contains active features and is likely to support unique sea floor habitat and active methane venting. This research will support our understanding of this dynamic environment and its implications for sensitive habitat, hazards to coastal infrastructure, and GHG emissions.

Organization: Natural Resources Canada

Lead Person: Scott Dallimore

Fiscal Years: 2017-2018

Natural Resources Canada 2017-2018

Local knowledge and new technologies to understand beluga-fish interactions and key habitats in the Beaufort Sea.

As identified at recent Inuvialuit and researcher joint Beluga meetings, it is possible to address climate-related changes in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem by understanding and analyzing interactions trends between beluga whales and their prey over time. Observed shifts in beluga harvest trends, distribution, and diet have led to a call to develop an integrated ecosystem program that tracks marine mammals and coastal and marine fishes that can employee technologies such as three-dimensional predator-prey habitat use with remote sensing techniques. In order to address knowledge gaps, the design of the integrated spatial habitat project to characterize beluga-prey interactions will need to incorporate local knowledge, community involvement and will build on existing partnerships. The planning and consultation period will occur in 2017-18; field work will continue throughout 2018-2020; with the report and wrap-up set for 2020-21..

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Lead Person: Lisa Loseto

Fiscal Years: 2017-2018

Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2017-2018

Regional coastal monitoring in the ISR: Ecosystem Indicators Part II

This project grows from the previously BREA supported community-based regional coastal monitoring program that recognized the already strong coastal monitoring programs and grows to bolster them with increased inclusion of TEK along with the use of novel biotracers for food web linkages. The objective is to better define ecosystem linkages among coastal species as well as offshore food webs; focusing on coastal fish, beluga, and their supporting habitat at numerous hunting sites. Through this program the Beaufort Sea ecosystem will be better characterized in terms of structure, function and health; and managers/decision makers will be better informed on ecosystem response to stressors such as climate change and development activities.

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Lead Person: Lisa Loseto

Fiscal Years: 2017-2018

Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2017-2018

Fish Tagging Project: Movement of Coastal Fishes in the Ulukhaktok Region.

Project Report

Climate driven change in Arctic ecosystems includes the on-going northern range expansion of sub-Arctic and Boreal species of fish and the contraction of the distribution of common Arctic fishes. Unusual preying activity by belugas in 2014 raised questions about ecosystem connectivity and potential climate-related shifts in seasonal timing and habitat components that sustain beluga, particularly coastal fishes. This project uses telemetry studies to monitor the movement behaviors of key fishes to address and identify gaps of knowledge in the coastal ecosystem near Ulukhaktok. Using a synergy of Traditional Knowledge, local sightings and scientific techniques, this project aims to; 1. determine habitat associated fine-scale movement dynamics of coastal fishes, 2. linkage and ranging behaviour between major rivers and coastal focal points in the region, 3. investigate inshore-offshore movements and food web connectivity. Ultimately, this study will use telemetry and Traditional Knowledge to assess habitat use of predators (belugas) and prey (coastal fishes) in 2D and 3D habitat frameworks. This summer 2018 field season, 102 coastal fishes were tagged with internal telemetry tags (51 Greenland cod, 51 Arctic char), 50 coastal moorings were deployed to detect tagged fish throughout the year and hunters and fishers were equipped with GPS units to track their activity (Tristan Pearce, University of Guelph linked project). In addition to internal tags, five Arctic char were also equipped with external satellite tags. The moorings are designed to record different combinations of oceanographic variables; including temperature, light, current strength, conductivity and sound. Preliminary sampling of the food web and FishFinder sonar transects were conducted to investigate the drivers of fish and marine mammal movements. Planning is underway to recover data and redeploy equipment during summer 2019 field season.

Organization: University of Windsor

Lead Person: Nigel Hussey

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Project University of Windsor 2018-2019

Traditional & Indigenous Knowledge integration into climate change impact studies via the enhancement of community-based monitoring programs on forage fish and their habitat in the ISR.

Ecosystem modelers have identified the critical need for physiological limits data for key marine species. This data can be provided by direct observations of where and when species congregate and by conducting physiological limits laboratory studies on selected species. Such data can be used to project the impacts of climate change on species distribution and survival. Observations and monitoring data is also urgently required to ground truth predictions and inform regional models of real time change in high resolution. This project will set up locations for fish collection in the Inuvialuit region to transport the fish to a multi-stressor laboratory for climate change impacts on forage fish physiology research. In addition locations and procedures for long term monitoring in the communities will be evaluated. Local TIK holders will direct and focus the monitoring and fishing locations in the 3 Inuvialuit communities of Ikaahuk, Ulukhaktok, and Paulatuk, will provide real time observations and keep track of the pace of change in climate change affected communities. Results of the study will be quickly fed back into ISR communities to aid in resource management.

Organization: Institute of Ocean Science (IOS), Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Lead Person: Nadja Steiner

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Project Institute of Ocean Science (IOS), Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2018-2019

Canadian Beaufort Sea- Marine Ecosystem Assessment.

Project Report

From 2012-2014 DFO conducted a marine baseline survey of biological communities and habitat parameters in the offshore Beaufort Sea, including a marine fishes project. The study determined a base-line of fish diversity and associated habitats in the Beaufort. The Marine Ecosystem Assessment project seeks to build upon this data to develop a comprehensive research and monitoring approach to the region. This will enable better understanding of the relationship between oceanic drivers and ecosystem responses. In particular the study seeks to determine the impacts of longer ice free periods on arctic cod, the impacts of ocean acidification on key biotic elements and changes in chemical processes in the marine system, and to better understand the implications of microplastics on key biota.

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

Lead Person: Andy Majewski, Andrea Niemi

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Project Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada 2018-2019

Beluga Tagging Project.

Project Report

As identified at recent Inuvialuit and researcher joint Beluga meetings, it is a priority to address climate-related changes in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem and how the changes are impacting beluga whales and their prey. Observed shifts in beluga harvest trends, distribution, and diet have led to a call to develop an integrated ecosystem program that tracks belugas and coastal and marine fishes that can employ technologies such as three-dimensional predator-prey habitat use. This project takes a co-design approach to beluga telemetry research as well as knowledge co-production approach that brings western science and TLK together to understand spatial movements of beluga in context with their prey and habitat. In order to address knowledge gaps, the co-designed program will push on innovation and assessment of new technologies to characterize spatial beluga-prey interactions that will incorporate local knowledge, community involvement and will build on existing partnerships.

Organization: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Lead Person: Lisa Loseto

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Project Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2018-2019

Variability of the Beaufort Ice-Ocean Environment: A Synthesis Report.

Project Report 1
Project Report 2

As Arctic sea ice thaws and the prospect of a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean becomes more realistic a detailed assessment of the potential environmental, and social implications of such conditions in the Arctic offshore and coastal regions is needed. The Variability of the Beaufort Ice-Ocean Environment project run by Amundsen Science, DFO and IMG-Golder seeks to combine existing data, data collected by the team between 2009 and 2017. In phase 1 a review of ongoing research was performed and both a table of contents and data synthesis methodology were created. The project is now entering phase 2 and seeks to create intermediate products from the information sources (current data and historical data). These are to be a literature review and analyses and plots of current data for model-data comparison. These products will be useful to Inuvialuit stakeholders as well as feeding into a final Synthesis report (phase 3) to inform policy, education and monitoring.

Organization: Amundsen Science,Golder Associates,Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Lead Person: Alexandre Forest

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Project Amundsen Science,Golder Associates,Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2018-2019

Aquatic Invasive Species: Community observations on Pacific Salmon in ISR

Recent community based, DFO collections of invasive Pacific salmon identified high levels of salmon in the ISR in 2016. These fish are probably invading from Alaskan rivers and their presence is problematic for native Dolly Varden and Arctic char. These studies need to be continued.

Objective: To establish the distribution, abundance, health and ecological disruption caused by of Pacific Salmon in the ISR

Organization: Fisheries Joint Management Committee, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019, 2019-2020

Research,Monitoring Fisheries Joint Management Committee, Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2018-2019,2019-2020

Transportation and shipping. Safety Assessment for Small Recreational Vessel Traffic

Community and scientific concerns about increased shipping are increasing and the related issues are critical for the REAS. The FJMC supports the Inuvialuit leadership on these initiatives and is ready to cooperate and support in the scenario development and risk analysis. The FJMC proposes that the International Maritime Organization’s Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) concept be followed. The goal of the FSA is to predetermine need so that measures can be established in an attempt to prevent tragedy. The FSA risk management methodology is a five step process with feedback loops. The steps include hazard identification, risk assessment, risk control options, cost-benefit assessment, and decision making. There is a need for scenarios to address two different types of vessel traffic. The primary focus of government, academics and industry has been on large commercial vessel traffic viz. trans Arctic shipping, community re-supply and tourist cruise ships. Communities are concerned about this type of shipping, but they are also concerned about the increasing numbers of small private vessels transiting the Beaufort. Sail boats, private yachts and small cruise boats present different hazards, risks and options than large vessels whether it is for search and rescue or access to Inuvialuit lands or hunting and fishing in the ISR. As the community interests expressed to FJMC are most often related to the recreational or small vessel traffic.

Objective: FJMC is prepared to take the lead to contract an FSA for such shipping and to further develop options for control/mitigation of risks such as fishing and private land use.

Organization: Fisheries Joint Management Committee

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Research,Monitoring Fisheries Joint Management Committee 2018-2019

Socio-Cultural Economic Indicators

This study will provide a strategic approach to identifying regional thresholds of wellness and economic impacts associated with several oil and gas development scenarios. This study will incorporate historical case studies (BREA results & Inuvialuit Indicators), current statistics, literature review and assessment of development scenarios. Results of this work will support cumulative effect indicators gaps identified during the 2017 community tour and form the basis of 2019-2020 cumulative effects research.

Objective: To assess wellness and employment indicators associated with the ‘life cycle’ of employment within the oil and gas industry within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019, 2019-2020

Research,Monitoring Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 2018-2019,2019-2020

Assessment of Key Species in the Beaufort

Traditionally, scientific research has informed wildlife and environmental management planning within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. These studies rarely include traditional or local knowledge and thus create a gap in information when conducting evidence-based decision making. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by acquiring knowledge from Inuvialuit community members to identify key areas of current use throughout the Beaufort Sea. Priority species will be identified for each community and data will be collected using an interactive iPad application. Areas of current use of the Beaufort Sea, defined as: (a) areas commonly accessed by local harvesters; and/or, (b) areas of cultural or traditional value. Priority species of the Beaufort Sea, defined as: (a) Species commonly harvested and relied upon by community members; and/or, (b) Species with cultural or traditional value; and/or, (c) Species considered invasive or of concern by community members; and/or, (d) Species with significant economic value.

Objective: To develop priority areas for key species in the Beaufort Sea related to food security (fish population), ecosystem (ability of fish habitat to support long term regeneration of fish populations) and cultural importance (traditional harvesting grounds and/or areas of cultural significance).

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Research,Monitoring Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 2018-2019

Inuvialuit Cultural Life—Out On The Land

Traditional harvesting has significant social, cultural and economic value to the Inuvialuit. Marine and terrestrial wildlife have provided food, clothing and materials for tools, arts and crafts for thousands of years within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. It addition to improving food security, northern economy and sustainability, harvesting should be considered an essential component to Inuvialuit identity. This 1.5-year study will specifically focus the importance of harvest to the Inuvialuit within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. A literature review will include all relevant literature and identify undocumented knowledge gaps related to the meaning of harvest to Inuvialuit, and similar projects done with other Indigenous groups. A short project planning workshop is planned during the community tour in November 2017 and will be leveraged to discuss logistics, methodology, and interview content. Semi structured interviews will be completed, analyzed and added to the literature review to provide a wholistic connection between the environment, harvest and culture.

Objective: Establish the enmeshment of harvest as a cultural activity within the ISR. Results from this study will clearly establish an interrelationship between harvest, culture, natural resource development and wellness.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Research,Monitoring Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 2018-2019

Inuvialuit Place Names

Over the centuries that Inuvialuit have lived and travelled throughout their land and given names to camping places, settlements and landmarks. These names may reflect the kinds of activities that were carried out at those places, the kinds of resources the area is known for, or events that occurred there. Place names help to shape and define the cultural landscape, and are an enduring record of Inuvialuit history and heritage. Knowing place names and their meanings, the resources or landmarks at those locations, and the sequence of those place names as people journeyed along travel routes was one way that Inuvialuit learned to read the land without a writing system or printed maps. These locations are of central importance when identifying key areas of significance within the ISR. This initiative aims to identify, collect, overlap and quality controls previously collected Place Names research. Place name information will be complied from existing research and will include names documented on maps and in interviews (both English and Inuvialuktun).

Objective: Develop a consolidated and quality controlled map of place names within the ISR which can be used to identify key areas of consideration when assessing the potential for natural resource development.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Research,Monitoring Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 2018-2019

Inuvialuit Harvest Study

The Inuvialuit Harvest Study (IHS) is the current activity and focus of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation’s Community Based Monitoring Program. The Inuvialuit Harvest Study (IHS) collects harvest information from Inuvialuit harvesters, 16 years of age and older, whom are registered with their local Hunters and Trappers Committee. The IHS is a community based effort that recognizes the importance of traditional knowledge and meaningfully engages beneficiaries of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement in harvest data collection. In addition to harvest information, participants are asked to share their comments, observations, and concerns regarding environmental trends or changes they have experienced while out on the land. This not only ensures that the Inuvialuit Harvest Study is able to provide a more complete analysis of harvesting in the ISR, but facilitates meaningful community participation and self-advocacy. Data collected from the IHS is used to better inform Inuvialuit decision and policy makers on wildlife and environmental matters including environmental assessments. The Inuvialuit Harvest Study fulfills core requirements of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) by collecting the required information to continue to protect and preserve Inuvialuit harvesters and traditional harvesting lands. Through identifying key areas of harvest and associated ecosystem, results from this work will support the review of under which conditions do Inuvialuit endorse oil and gas activities in the Beaufort.

Objective: To support Inuvialuit focused wildlife and natural resource development decisions in the ISR by providing local environmental and harvest information.

Organization: Joint Secretariat

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019, 2019-2020

Research,Monitoring Joint Secretariat 2018-2019,2019-2020

Identify an On-Going Monitoring Program

The Beaufort Sea is a naturally evolving and interconnected system. Additionally, the Beaufort Sea is changing at an accelerated pace due several external influences such as climate change, increased human activity, ice dynamics and extreme weather events. Therefore, it is increasing important to fully understand the baseline state of the Beaufort Sea. When the baseline is sufficiently captured, it will become much easier to accurately identify or predict changes. These changes may have tremendous impact in the people and wildlife within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

Objective: Establish a continuous monitoring program which includes the on-going collection of data to establish baseline conditions and identify/provide changing conditions. Results for the monitoring program will support evidence-based decision making within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Fiscal Years: 2019-2020, 2020-2021

Research,Monitoring Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 2019-2020,2020-2021

Understanding the Importance of Ice in the ISR

Life in the Arctic is dependent on movement, and that sea ice is integral to this movement. Inuvialuit mobilize between settlements to harvest resources that are sold, consumed, traded or are essential linked to wellness. This movement often takes place on ice connects infrastructure within the ISR. Through a literature review, community workshop and assessment, key areas of the Beaufort will be identified and the importance of ice will be reinforced. This project will be completed in conjunction with the Inuit Trails initiative and will form as the basis for identifying areas impacted by climate change in addition to areas of exclusion for oil and gas development within the Beaufort Sea.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Lead Person: Cassandra Elliot

Fiscal Years: 2017-2018

Map,Report,White Paper Inuvialuit Regional Corporation 2017-2018

Beaufort BRSEA Oil and Gas Life Cycle Activities Scenario

To the extent possible, CAPP and Imperial Oil has brought in other Beaufort license holders to produce an initial framework that covers both near term exploration (10+ years) and longer-term development, (25+ years) for both shallower and deeper waters of the Beaufort, as well as some offshore areas that have not yet been explored. This document will be reviewed, recommendations provided, revised and the final product will be considered when evaluating the need for additional research around the environmental implications associated with oil and gas exploration.

Objective: The finalized scenarios will form the basis of a ‘scenarios’ chapter within the final BRSEA assessment report.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Inuvialuit Game Council, CIRNA and Industry

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Report Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,Inuvialuit Game Council,CIRNA,Industry 2018-2019

Multi-stressor responses of key Arctic fish species within a climate change impact framework

Arctic fish species are exposed to multiple human induced stressors: Climate change related increases in temperature, decreases in pH (ocean acidification), and habitat loss (for sea ice associated species such as Arctic cod), as well as potential increases in noise level and contaminants due to enhanced human activity in the north. The combined cardio-respiratory method examines changes in heart rate and oxygen uptake under stress and is a powerful tool to quantify the impact of multi-stressors upon animal health. This method will be adopted to perform multiple stressor laboratory experiments on key Arctic species. Species will be chosen based on interviews with local communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Measured physiological responses and thresholds will then be incorporated into risk assessments by DFO’s Ecosystem Stressors Program to provide science advice on potential ecosystem impacts of cumulative stressors. Results will be implemented in higher trophic level species distribution and Ecopath models and combined with regional climate model projections to understand already observed changes and assess potential future changes in species abundance, distributions and species shifts. This will allow for the assessment of impacts on species distribution and abundance within local communities.

Objective: To assess the influence of impact of climate change indicators on species health through acidification studies/modelling in the Beaufort Sea. This work will include the identification of acidification thresholds for key species and assessments of associated health characteristics.

Organization: Inuvialuit Game Council,Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019

Research,Monitoring Inuvialuit Game Council,Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2018-2019

BRSEA final report(s) and recommendations

As a culmination of previous BREA/BRSEA deliverables, the final report will focus on a comprehensive examination of the interrelationships between the environment, social, cultural and economic conditions, the traditional use and wildlife harvesting of natural resources and decision-making by Inuvialuit, regulatory and planning authorities.

Objective: This report will a) recommend desired economic and environmental outcomes and thresholds for oil and gas development in the Beaufort region while respecting the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and relevant regulatory processes; (b) advance baseline understanding of the state of knowledge around the Beaufort Sea; and (c) support informed decision-making around possible future resource development and management, environmental conservation programs, community sustainable and subsistence activities, and other complementary commercial activities. Indigenous knowledge, local/community knowledge and western science will be utilized and included equally whenever possible.

Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation & CIRNA

Fiscal Years: 2018-2019, 2019-2020

Report Inuvialuit Regional Corporation,CIRNA 2018-2019,2019-2020