Community Spill Response Planning in Canadian High Arctic

Sun dog over Resolute chapel.

As sea ice diminishes in Arctic regions, shipping patterns are changing, and so are the risks to northern communities. Nuka Research is working with a team of agencies and non-governmental organizations to support oil spill preparedness for remote Inuit communities faced with shipping risks from increased traffic through the Northwest Passage (read more). This project builds on lessons learned from the Learning Exchange held in Iqaluit, Nunavut in November 2017.

This pilot project will explore the challenges and opportunities involved in building a community-based capacity to deal with oil spills in remote Arctic communities. Nuka Research is drawing on decades of experience supporting emergency and spill response planning in indigenous communities, combined with technical expertise in oil spill response tactics and planning.

Fresh Polar Bear Tracks.
Elise DeCola on bluff overlooking Resolute, NU with frozen Arctic Ocean in the background (March, 2018).

Elise DeCola visited Resolute, Nunavut – the second northernmost inhabited community in Canada – during March 2018 with a team of government and non-profit shipping and spill response experts for initial outreach. Subsequent community visits during the fall of 2018 are a critical part of validating the final planning approach.