Fundy Bay

The upper Bay of Fundy hosts multiple,  long-studied, macro tidal mudflat sites used by migratory shorebirds and fish, with abundant invertebrate communities. Multiple sites are covered by conservation agreements, including the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. Other sites are now re-forming or changing with removals of tidal barriers. The southern Gulf of St. Lawrence hosts extensive soft sediment shorelines, which are subject to nutrient enrichment from runoff, and shoreline hardening to protect real estate against winter scour,  exacerbated by rising sea levels. Analyses of standing crops, productivity, and carbon sequestration on these tidal flats and salt marshes are now beginning.


  • Loss of linkages between coastal ecosystems – primarily salt marshes and mudflats
  • The intertidal habitat is changing rapidly; loss of coastal integrity
  • The frequency and severity of storms is increasing – the physical and ecological implications are far reaching for people and habitats
  • Public understanding of the need and potential for nature-based coastal adaptation solutions is weak
  • Lack of equity/justice in decisions related to ecosystem service supply and nature-based coastal adaptation (e.g., vulnerable populations)

Main objectives

  1. 1
    Monitoring and understanding patterns of biofilm standing crop and pigmentation dynamics through ground-truthing and remote sensing.
  2. 2
    Implementing metrics of productivity and carbon sequestration, across mudflats and saltmarshes.
  3. 3
    Assessing trophic linkages across communities and habitats, using a combination of stable isotopes,  macromolecular compositional analyses, and experiments.
  4. 4
    Remote sensing to quantify site selection by migratory shore birds to guide conservation and management decisions.

Key Opportunities

  • Our salt marshes and mudflats have significant potential to sequester organic carbon compounds (Blue economy)
  • Determine the dynamics of salt marshes and mudflats in contrasting tidal regimes and where winter disturbance is high
  • Stop hardening shorelines to prevent their migration inland
  • Public education (e.g., minimize disturbance to migrating shorebirds)
  • Leverage “Marsh Body” decision-making for adaptation planning
  • Reconnect people to nature, including coastal dynamism, via tidal wetland restoration

Current and future restoration actions

Contact Person

Main contact
Danika Van Proosdij
Main contact
Diana Hamilton
Main contact
Jeff Ollerhead