Land EPA: The FiSH Committee on counting fish

Fisheries Sustainable Habitat (FiSH) Committee

Suncor Energy is leading COSIA mining companies to collaborate with government through the FiSH Committee. The FiSH Committee is working together to provide more reliable data to improve fish habitat and populations.

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Jenna Dunlop, PhD

Jenna Dunlop, Ph.D, MBA
Director, Land EPA

When considering the scope of the Land Environmental Priority Area (EPA) it’s not surprising that collaboration is at the centre of what we do. Not only are our 13 member companies and 39 associate members working together on tackling the challenges in our four environmental priority areas, but our environmental priority areas are finding areas where collaboration is essential. In the Land EPA, our work—from land management and restoration to preserving biodiversity of plants and animals—is intricately linked to the way we manage water, tailings and greenhouse gases. 

Take, for instance, the Forward III watershed soil and vegetation project that is leading to the development of soil and watershed assessment tools. Identifying appropriate bioindicators is necessary for supporting reclamation efforts within energy and mining sectors. The next step is to understand how water quality issues holistically affect an ecosystem. Together with Canadian Natural Resources and in collaboration with the Water EPA, work is now underway to scope the next research phase, Forward IV. By working together, both EPAs ensure there is no duplication of research questions and gain more insight into the greater complexity of our environmental challenges, which lends itself to more effective outcomes through fulsome environmental performance improvement. 

The work we do in the Land EPA is long term, so it’s critical to scope our work effectively and apply our efforts in the right areas. This scoping work was recently completed for COSIA’s various caribou initiatives. By analyzing our gaps and opportunities, we’ve developed a comprehensive outlook of the situation faced by the species, and prioritized the areas of research we need to undertake to support their protection. The same will be done for our wetlands reclamation and remediation projects to set us on the best path forward.   As we continue to collaborate across members and EPAs, we are developing a wide breadth of best management practices and strong foundational knowledge that will be an asset in managing our land use in the oil sands. Find out more about what are members are working on with the FiSH Committee case study.