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The Canadian Aquatic Barriers Database: a tool to support fish passage remediation
Presenting Author Name
Presenting Author Affiliation
Canadian Wildlife Federation
Presenting Author Email
Western Division/WA-BC Chapter
Alpha to omega: the state of fish passage management, ecology, and engineering in Cascadia
Aquatic barriers and fish passage
Type of Presentation
Efforts to map barriers to aquatic connectivity and prioritize them for remediation have become increasingly popular. No database comprehensively integrates small and large barriers nationally in Canada, while also including standardized attributes that inform decision making. The development of the Canadian Aquatic Barriers Database (CABD) provides a key cornerstone for barrier prioritization and remediation efforts.
The CABD comprises three main components: a clean and connected national hydrographic network, standardized datasets for multiple barrier types (both anthropogenic and natural), and a publicly accessible web mapping interface. This interface will enable users to view hydrographic and barrier data, and access barrier attributes. The database will support network analyses over large geographic scales to prioritize barriers that present the greatest potential ecological benefits if remediated.
Formalized stakeholder engagement provided advice on feasibility, identification of target end uses and associated data requirements, data acquisition and compilation, database design, and mechanisms to fill data gaps. This stakeholder network supports Canada-wide collaboration on aquatic connectivity, allows for efficient dissemination of information, and ensures that the CABD is functional for a range of projects across multiple sectors.
Reciprocal data-sharing relationships will be established with existing barrier data holders to ensure mutual benefit and long-term data currency. A standardized data model will be developed for each barrier type to ensure that quality-assured and quality-controlled data-integration mechanisms facilitate database population.
The CABD will support large-scale policy and reporting work, restoration planning and prioritization, infrastructure asset management, research and monitoring programs, and education and public outreach initiatives. By the end of 2020, the first iteration of the CABD will be available for beta testing in select pilot regions, which will be populated with all existing and acquirable large dam and waterfall datasets.