Monday, June 2, 2014

TIDAL POWER: Request for public input on potential locations for tidal turbines in Grand Passage

Request for public input on potential locations for tidal turbines in Grand Passage


Fundy Tidal is seeking public input on potential locations for tidal turbines in Grand Passage.  Turbine locations will be selected based on many factors, including community input, flow speeds, depth, seabed, waves, marine life, fishing zones, and acceptable infringement on navigation.  Fundy Tidal is currently assessing these factors working in collaboration with Dalhousie University, Acadia University, University of New Brunswick, Dynamic Systems Analysis, and Clean Current Power Systems.

A 1-year demonstration is planned with a turbine from Clean Current, with deployment scheduled for spring 2015.  The Clean Current turbine is 3.5 m in diameter and has a rated power of 65 kW.  The turbine would supply approximately 130,000 kWh of energy annually, which is enough to power approximately 6 to 8 homes. The Clean Current turbine is shown on Figure 1, and more information is available at www.cleancurrent.com.

Five study areas in Grand Passage are shown on Figure 2.  The study areas are locations within which a turbine or turbines could be deployed.  Based on technical considerations, study area GP-3 is currently the preferred location for demonstrating and testing the Clean Current turbine.  However, continued assessment including community input could lead to development in other study areas.  Any study area selected for further investigation will require detailed assessment of tidal flow and seabed conditions, monitoring environmental conditions, and environmental assessment.

The study areas are large compared to the footprint of an actual development.  An example footprint within study site GP-3 is shown on Figure 3.  The example shown is a 10 x 15 meter floating platform (red box), surrounded by a 50 x 55 meter no navigation zone (green box) to allow safe clearance of the mooring lines.  The design requires site-specific refinement, and is intended to provide a sense of scale for the impact of a floating turbine platform in Grand Passage.  Submerged designs that would pose minimal, or no, infringement on navigation are also being assessed.

We are seeking public input on the study areas, including preferred locations assuming both floating and submerged designs. Specific focus on the potential for a floating platform in GP-3 would be appreciated, and feedback on all study areas is valued.

A study area will be selected as the focus for activities during the summer, fall, and winter of 2014, leading to deployment of a turbine in early 2015.

A questionnaire intended to assist in providing input is available in Print Format or Online Format. Hard copies of the questionnaire and this notice have been posted at several businesses and public service buildings throughout the islands, with additional copies available to take home. This notice has also been posted to the "Islanders" and "Brier Island" Facebook groups.

Feedback can be provided through the Online Questionnaire or by email to community@fundytidal.com , mail to Box 1209, Westport, Nova Scotia, Canada B0V 1H0, and in public forum in Freeport on May 18, 2014.  An information and discussion session will be held following the Fireman's Breakfast.  For further information on Fundy Tidal please visit www.fundytidal.com.


Figure 1: Clean Current tidal turbine



Figure 2: Grand Passage study site locations.  Green squares are labels only, they do not indicate positioning of turbines. The study areas are locations within which a turbine or turbines could be deployed, and are large compared to the footprint of an actual development (see Figure 3).




Figure 3: Example floating turbine footprint in study area GP-3. The example shown is a 10 x 15 meter floating platform (red box), surrounded by a 50 x 55 meter no navigation zone (green box) to allow safe clearance of the mooring lines (four lines extending from platform).

Dana Morin
Director-Business Development
Fundy Tidal Inc.
Box 1209, Westport, Nova Scotia, B0V 1H0
Office: (902) 839.2078
Cell: (902) 790.3565
www.fundytidal.com

ARTICLE: Reduced vessel speeds have saved eastcoast Right Whales

The authors of the following article are pleased to announce a new paper
providing evidence that speed restrictions implemented in 2008 to reduce
vessel related deaths of North Atlantic right whales along the East
Coast of the United States have been effective.

Laist, D.W, A.R. Knowlton, and D. Pendleton. 2014. Effectiveness of
mandatory vessel speed limits for protecting North Atlantic right
whales. Endangered Species Research 23(2): 133-147.
http://www.int-res.com/articles/esr_oa/n023p133.pdf

ABSTRACT: To reduce right whale /Eubalaena glacialis/ deaths caused by
ship collisions along the US East Coast, a rule was implemented on 8 December 2008 requiring all
vessels ≥65 feet (19.8 m) to travel 10 knots (18.5 km h−1) or less in 10 seasonal management areas
(SMAs). To evaluate the effectiveness of this rule, we plotted the locations of all right whale
and humpback whale /Megaptera novaeangliae/ carcasses attributed to ship-strikes since December 1990 in determine their proximity to SMAs. In the 18 yr pre-rule period, 13 of 15 (87%) right whales and 12 of 26 (46%) humpback whales killed by ships were found inside later SMA boundaries or within 45 nmi (83 km) of their perimeters during later active dates. In the first 5 yr after the rule became effective, no ship-struck right whales were found inside or within 45 nmi of any active

SMA. This was nearly twice as long as the longest pre-rule period without discovery of a ship-struck carcass in those areas during effective time periods. Based on the 18 yr pre-rule period, bootstrap resampling analyses revealed that the probability of finding no ship-struck whales in or near

SMAs during the first 5 yr post-rule period would be a statistically significant reduction in such deaths (p = 0.031). The results suggest the rule has been effective at reducing right whale deaths.

We suggest enlarging SMAs to include additional parts of the right whale migratory corridor

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FORESTRY: Tory Forest Strategy Sells Rural New Brunswick and the Environment Down the River

Clearcut Formerly Known as Forest. The "B...
Clearcut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Green Party of New Brunswick Press Release



The decision of the Alward government to permit 21% more clearcutting on Crown land this year will be ruinous for both rural communities and  wildlife, according to Green Party Leader David Coon. "This corporate forest plan sells rural New Brunswick and our environment down the river. It runs roughshod over the values and aspirations that Ne Brunswickers hold dear," said Coon.

The Green Party wants to create the conditions for an innovative and  diverse forest industry that suits our forest and sustains our rural  communities, but Coon says the Alward plan will make that impossible.

"This is the greatest give-away of forest resources to corporations in living memory," said Green Party leader David Coon. "Rural communities will be unable to rebuild their local forest economies because the Premier will give away their local natural resource base to corporate  mills in other regions. Local independent mills will become a thing of  the past and the market for independent woodlot owners will be  devastated. As for wildlife, entire populations will be eradicated  without adequate habitat in which to live," said Coon.

 "The current system has become corrupted," said David Coon. "We want to take operational control of the Crown lands back from the corporations  nd manage them for the public good, with decision-making authority given to local communities," said Coon.

Over the past decade, experts employed by the Department of Natural Resources determined that the 3.26 million cubic metres of spruce and  fir clearcut from Crown land was unsustainable and harvest levels needed  to be lowered to reflect the available wood supply. The only way harvest levels can be raised, is to allow clearcutting in the 26% of the  Crown lands where only selection harvesting had been permitted in order to sustain wildlife habitat and provide streamside buffers.

 "The long-term timber objectives of the Alward forest plan will dramatically increase herbicide spraying and convert much of the remaining natural forest on Crown lands to plantations," according to the Green Party leader.

 "Once again, we see the Alward government siding with money and power rather than with New Brunswickers," said Coon.