Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeological Team to focus on fieldwork in eastern Canada in 2021

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Research along the St. Lawrence River, Gulf of St. Lawrence and Labrador Coast will help protect cultural and natural marine heritage

GATINEAU, QC, July 9, 2021 /CNW/ – Parks Canada is taking action to protect the integrity of important ecological and cultural resources by supporting research initiatives in sensitive marine protected areas.

The RV David Thompson is in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park for about ten days. It is deploying scientific instruments to collect various samples and data to support biological and archaeological research efforts by Parks Canada. Credit: Aimie Néron, Parks Canada (CNW Group/Parks Canada)

This summer, Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeological Team (UAT) will focus its 2021 research season aboard the Research Vessel (RV) David Thompson on conservation related projects in locations along the St. Lawrence River, Gulf of St. Lawrence and Labrador Coast.

The UAT’s research activities in marine protected areas in eastern Canada include projects that support Parks Canada’s archaeological, climate change and biological research, new protected area establishment and outreach initiatives. These activities include surveys of coral and sea sponge protection areas in the Baie Ste. Marguerite to Île Rouge area of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park and in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, site monitoring and a remote sensing survey to improve site delineation of the Corossol NHS, a 16th-century wreck site near Sept-Îles, as well as other survey and monitoring actions along the Labrador Coast related to climate change mitigation and protection of biodiversity.

The RV David Thompson’s 2021 operational season will also support a range of wider Agency initiatives including the Canadian Ocean Literacy Strategy and the UN Decade of Ocean Science. To mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, the David Thompson’s 2021 voyage will be conducted in compliance with the most up-to-date provincial public health guidelines.


“As a recognized leader in conservation, Parks Canada takes its mandate to protect cultural treasures and ecological integrity very seriously. I am very proud that the work our Underwater Archaeology Team is undertaking this summer will contribute to the long-term understanding of, restoration and preservation of healthy marine environments and national historic sites. I look forward to seeing the results that this summer’s research season will deliver.”

Ron Hallman,

President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada

Quick Facts

  • The RV David Thompson, Parks Canada’s research vessel, supports the Agency’s marine science and underwater archaeological work. Launched in 1992, it can accommodate up to 11 researchers and three crew and is equipped with state-of-the-art marine remote sensing capabilities of the ship including multi-beam echo sounder, side-scan sonar and remotely-operated vehicle.
  • When conditions allow, Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team conducts research aboard the RV David Thompson at the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site, location of the wrecks associated with the famed Franklin Expedition, and the first collaboratively managed national historic site in Nunavut.
  • Work conducted this summer will also involve testing of equipment and methods that will be used on future trips to the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror wreck sites.

Related Links

  • RV David Thompson – Parks Canada’s research vessel
  • Parks Canada – Underwater Archaeology
  • @PCArchaeology
  • Parks Canada defers 2021 research season at Franklin Expedition sites

SOURCE Parks Canada

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