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Environment: July 2013 Archives

An 82-day expedition to the Canadian Arctic

ArcticNet.jpgThe Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen is setting off today on a 82-day expedition to the Canadian Arctic. It will take off from the Coast Guard base on Champlain Boulevard in Quebec City at 3 PM this afternoon, celebrating its 10th Anniversary as a research icebreaker for ArcticNet's 2013 expedition.

ArcticNet studies the impacts of climate warming and modernization on ecosystems and on the health and economy of northern communities. We were joined this morning by ArcticNet's Scientific Director and Chief Scientist on the Amundsen for the first segment of the mission. Doctor Louis Fortier, who is also a professor at Laval University.

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Turning abandoned mining sites into fertile soil

Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS.jpgA new technology being tested over the past decade in Northern Quebec could allow orphaned mining sites to be transformed into fertile agricultural fields.

The process involves taking heavy contaminants in the soil, such as lead, and neutralizing them by adding a simple organic material, ash.

We spoke with the man behind this experiment, agronomist and micro-biologist Lucien Bordeleau, as well as Alexandre Anctil, Project Manager and Biologist for FaunENord, an organization that hopes to implement the project to other sites in the Chibougamau region.


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An odor causes tourists to flee and city officials to worry

An unbearable stench has descended on Rimouski recently. Even though there have endured varying stenchy smells for years, residents say the odor is far worse this summer. Helene Gagné is the owner of Au soleil Couchant, a Motel and Resto-Bar in Pointe-au-Père, where the notorious smell is at its strongest.

She says her patio has remained empty because of the problem, a smell she describes as a mix of rotting algae and sewage. She says that a handful of tourists planning to stay at her motel have driven straight through town in an attempt to escape the odor.

Not everyone agrees on the source of the smell. We consulted Professor Emilien Pelletier, a marine eco-toxology expert based out of Rimouski.

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