RAMP Responds to 2010 Scientific Peer Review ReportJan 31 2011
RAMP Releases Peer Review Panel Report
January 31, 2011 – Fort McMurray, AB: The Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) today released the report from its latest external peer review process.
RAMP undertook the review of its existing aquatic monitoring program to assess and update its program as part of RAMP’s focus on continuous improvement to its programs. The nine-member peer review panel has submitted a report which recommends a number of changes and improvements be made to RAMP’s monitoring program.
“We asked for an independent scientific assessment of our program by the review panel on behalf of our stakeholders and Albertans in general, and we thank the members of the review panel for their diligent work and thoughtful recommendations,” said Brenda Miskimmin, RAMP’s Fort McKay representative.
“The peer review report suggests more work needs to be done in the area of aquatic monitoring in the Lower Athabasca region. RAMP has previously and will continue to incorporate such internal and external input into the growth and evolution of its program,” said Miskimmin.
“As one part of the network of monitoring programs in the region, RAMP will do whatever it can to contribute to further enhancement of environmental monitoring in the Lower Athabasca.”
RAMP is able to provide immediate responses to some of the scientific recommendations contained in the panel’s report. As RAMP is expecting to receive further direction from the provincial and federal reviews now underway, it will integrate its peer review recommendations with those provided through the government reviews and provide a more comprehensive response at a later date.
“The body of data collected by RAMP year over year has contributed to a better understanding of the cumulative aquatic effects of resource development in the Athabasca region. RAMP will continue to contribute its aquatic monitoring data and information both publicly, via its website, and to the federal and provincial reviews now underway.“
The RAMP peer review panel was selected by an independent facilitator, and was composed of nine individuals selected for their scientific expertise in climate and hydrology, water quality, benthic invertebrate communities and sediment quality, fish populations and acid-sensitive lakes.
The panelists were Dr. Donald Burn; Dr. D. George Dixon; Dr. Monique Dubé; Dr. Joe Flotemersch; Dr. William G. Franzin; Dr. John Gibson; Dr. Kelly Munkittrick; Dr. John Post and; Dr. Shaun Watmough.
The Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) is a science-based multi-stakeholder aquatic environmental monitoring program initiated in 1997 and is one of a number of programs monitoring the aquatic environment in the Lower Athabasca region of Alberta. The intent of RAMP is to determine, evaluate and communicate the state of the aquatic environment and any changes that may result from resource development within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
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