Nov. 19, 2008
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The strategic environmental assessment (SEA) report on tidal energy was released to the public today.
The Strategic Environmental Assessment of In-Stream Tidal Energy Generation Development in New Brunswick's Bay of Fundy Coastal Waters, compiled and submitted by Barry Jones on behalf of the Marine Energy Working Group of the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (BoFEP), contains 19 recommendations to be considered if the province moves forward with developing in-stream tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy. The recommendations are based on stakeholder feedback and preliminary research.
"BoFEP is committed to maintaining the integrity of the Bay of Fundy and facilitating communication between all stakeholder groups that may have an interest in the resources of the bay," Jones said. "We were happy to be a part of this emerging industry, and provide input into its future direction and sustainable development in New Brunswick."
The Department of Energy has been looking into opportunities associated with in-stream tidal energy for a number of years.
"We are committed to exploring new opportunities for the Energy Hub, and diversifying our province's energy supply with clean, renewable and emission-free electricity generation alternatives," said Energy Minister Jack Keir. "However, we also recognize the importance of fully assessing the impact that tidal energy could have on host coastal marine communities and current Bay of Fundy uses such as the traditional fisheries, aquaculture and tourism."
In 2007 the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia governments announced that they would be completing SEAs in relation to ocean energy in the Bay of Fundy, with a specific focus on in-stream tidal applications. The assessments included a background report completed by Jacques Whitford in January 2008, which was co-funded by the Department of Energy and the Offshore Energy Environmental Research Association on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia. Stakeholder consultation was also a component of the SEA, and a series of open house events was held in seven communities along the New Brunswick side of the bay in April 2008.
The Government of New Brunswick is working on a formal response to the report's 19 recommendations that will be released in the coming weeks. The response will be a collaborative effort by the departments of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources.
The SEA report may be found on the BoFEB website.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional information on BoFEP and the SEA follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie Doyle, Department of Energy, 506-658-2410.
Additional information on BoFEP and the SEA report
BoFEP is a virtual institute open to individuals and groups that seek the well-being of the Bay of Fundy by:
The purpose of the SEA for tidal power in the Bay of Fundy is to: