Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Water Quality

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River beach water quality met government standards 76.5% of the time in 2015, according to a recent report from Swim Guide ( By comparison, water quality standards were met 72.5% of the 2014 season.

Swim Guide compared monitoring results for 1,496 beaches around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and calculated the number of days beaches in each watershed passed water quality tests, failed water quality tests, or had no data. The findings published in the second annual Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Beach Report.

Swim Guide is a beach information service created by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper in Toronto. The resource offers water quality alerts, beach descriptions, photos, and directions for over 7,000 beaches in Canada, the U.S.A., as well as Baja Mexico, and New Zealand.

For more information, visit

Friday, December 4, 2015

BC Canada Parks and Protected Areas

The Province of British Columbia (BC) is home to more than 1000 national parks, provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves, and other protected areas.

BC parks and protected areas facts:

 - British Columbia has one of the largest protected areas systems in North America

 - British Columbia has the highest percentage of its land base dedicated to protected areas of all provincial Canadian jurisdictions.

 - Since 2004, the area of parks, conservancies, ecological reserves, and protected areas has increased by more than 3.3 million hectares.

- British Columbia is home to some of Canada's most popular national parks including Glacier National Park, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, Kootenay National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and Yoho National Park

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Canada to Support Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS)

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, recently announced Canada’s contribution of $10 million to support Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) in vulnerable communities.

Canada’s contribution will be delivered through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to improve Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems in developing countries, particularly the small island developing states and least developed countries.

These systems have been proven to reduce loss of life and economic hardship caused by meteorological hazards such as tropical cyclones, floods, severe storms, forest fires, and heat waves.

The announcement is part of Canada’s historic pledge of $2.65 billion over the next five years to support developing countries’ transition to low carbon economies and adapt to the changing climate.

source: Canada Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

USGS Alaska Permafrost Study

Permafrost in Alaska could be reduced significantly by the end of the century, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study.

Using statistically modeled maps drawn from satellite data and other sources, USGS scientists have projected that the near-surface permafrost that presently underlies 38 percent of boreal and arctic Alaska would be reduced by 16 to 24 percent by the end of the 21st century under widely accepted climate scenarios.

Permafrost is defined by USGS as ground that stays below freezing for at least two consecutive years.

In addition to developing maps of near-surface permafrost distributions, the researchers developed maps of maximum thaw depth, or active-layer depth, and provided uncertainty estimates.

The research has been published in Remote Sensing of Environment. The current near-surface permafrost map is available via ScienceBase.