Developing an integrated environmental monitoring program to detect road impacts along the Dempster-Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk CorridorOnline pre-recorded
There is currently a lack in understanding of the impact of Arctic corridor roads on ecological structure and function in sensitive northern streams. Increased sedimentation caused by road erosion during periods of high stream flow and permafrost thaw-driven road slumping have been observed along the Dempster-Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Corridor and may pose a threat for aquatic ecosystem services. The objective of this project is to establish stream biomonitoring program along the DITC to study the effects of recent and legacy road development on stream ecosystem health. We are using Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocol, water quality sampling, and studying ecosystem function (e.g., carbon cycling) to implement a multi-faceted approach to understanding the potential impacts to streams by road development and sustained use. With assistance from environmental monitors in the Gwich’in Settlement Area and Inuvialuit Settlement Region, we have tested nationally standardized aquatic biomonitoring protocol and training workshops to produce ecological information that can be used by resource boards to develop management plans to measure impact on aquatic habitat and for future development projects to assess aquatic health and safety concerns.