Innovation Anthology

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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #393
Program Date: 04/26/2011
Program Category: Energy, Environment, Forests, Oil Sands, Water, Wildlife

CONRAD Part 9: CFRAW Informs Reclamation Practices

Reconstructing wetlands is a major component of oil sands reclamation.

But it takes time and effort to understand the complexities of wetland ecology.

Dr. Lee Foote is part of research consortium called CFRAW. That’s Carbon Dynamics, Food Web Structure and Reclamation Strategies in Athabasca Oil Sands.

Dr. Foote lists some of the research by graduate students and university scientists that’s had an influence on practices of oil sands companies.

DR. LEE FOOTE: We’ve learned a lot about the slope and the shape of these wetlands. You don’t make bathtubs. You make long, what we call litoral zones or edge zones for transition zones. Some of the other things we’ve learned that you don’t just go in and plant greenhouse stock willy nilly. There’s certain growth tolerances. You’re wasting your time to do that. Some of it is about efficiency . So you want to know the species that are adapted and the most efficient way to move them over. You don’t take intact peat blocks and plant them in the middle of winter as Dale Vitt showed. They dry out. It’s an inefficient way of on it. So some of it is about behaving more efficiently but really our focus is on effectiveness.

The students presented some of there findings at a recent workshop on oil sands reclamation.

Thanks today to Syncrude Canada Ltd



  • Syncrude
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