Nature PEI

The Effects of Human Inputs to Island Streams and Estuaries

Dr. Mike van den Heuvel of the Canadian Rivers Institute at UPEI does not have to look far in this Island Province to find something to study. He and his team of students have been dissecting the factors that are increasingly causing our estuaries to become anoxic and our streams choked with sediment, limiting healthy productivity in these ecosystems.  He notes “The aquatic environment on, and surrounding PEI is not improving, it is getting worse. When I think of the \”Green Island\”, I see mountains of sea lettuce in our estuaries. Damage to our tourism, fisheries and aquaculture industries is happening now, but it can be reversed if the public demands it.\”

The effects of unsustainable land use on our streams, estuaries and coastal environment will be discussed in Mike van den Heuvel’s presentation, at the upcoming April meeting of Nature PEI.It takes place on Tuesday, April 1st, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House, corner of West and Kent Streets. Admission to the presentation is free and all are welcome

 Dr. Michael R. van den Heuvel is the Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity at the University of Prince Edward Island. He is an environmental biologist who has worked measuring toxic effects from pulp mills in New Zealand and Canada and oil sands-related aquatic reclamation projects in Alberta. Since moving to Prince Edward Island he has found ideal study sites to track ecological degradation in estuaries. He has been investigating not only the environmental damage caused by excessive nutrients, consequences of erosion on sediment in streams, and the impacts of a variety of contaminants, but also collaborating with  end-users to define how we should monitor environmental health in our ecosystem. 

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