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Marine Science



Parks Canada establishes first research chair in aquatic restoration. Wild salmon is an iconic Canadian species that has faced challenges and a rapid decline in recent decades, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic salmon plays an important role in the culture and livelihoods of many on the East Coast, including Indigenous peoples.

That’s why the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John–Rothesay, announced today, the creation of the first-ever Parks Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Restoration. A historic milestone for Parks Canada and partners at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), the Research Chair will build on the university’s strong focus and significant expertise in marine, coastal and freshwater science, as well as help students get hands-on experience in conservation biology and species at risk recovery.

Dr. Kurt Samways has been selected to hold this Research Chair position. Dr. Samways holds a Doctorate in Biology from the University of New Brunswick, and has been selected for his decades of fish-related studies, and his research in partnership with Fundy National Park.

Today’s announcement also includes just over $431,000 in funding to support Parks Canada’s five-year regional Atlantic salmon recovery project. Announced in 2019, the project spans five national parks in Atlantic Canada – Fundy, Cape Breton Highlands, Gros Morne, Terra Nova and Kouchibouguac. The Research Chair will work with project teams in each national park, taking a regional approach to assess the way ecosystems function before and after salmon recovery action.

As Parks Canada’s Atlantic salmon recovery efforts gain global attention, the Agency is launching a new research tool to promote research opportunities related to Atlantic salmon to scientists from around the world. This new website will direct researchers to key Atlantic salmon research opportunities in Fundy, Kouchibouguac, Cape Breton, Gros Morne and Terra Nova National Parks.

Parks Canada collaborates with academic and scientific institutions on ecological projects and partners with organizations across the country to conserve and restore natural ecosystems and important habitats. By working together, we can protect and conserve Canada’s key ecosystems for future generations.