Genome Prairie


Floating Wetland Treatments to Enhance Remediation

Environmental impacts of oil spills are a major public concern, impeding social license for the development of the petroleum sector and Canada’s economic development. Furthermore, there is uncertainty around the best methods to employ when cleaning oil spills in sensitive freshwater ecosystems.

The IISD-Experimental Lakes Area has begun a large, collaborative and multi-phased program to: a) determine the effectiveness of non-mechanical and biological methods for cleaning spilled oil from freshwater aquatic environments, and b) develop non-lethal and minimally invasive monitoring techniques to measure oil exposure and recovery in aquatic wildlife populations. FLOWTER builds upon this program in order to: i) optimize Engineered Floating Wetlands (EFWs) to enhance the associated rhizome microbiome to achieve rapid oil degradation, and ii) validate fin clips and mucus swabs as non-invasive biological assessment tools for monitoring cleanup performance.

Quick Facts

Project Leaders:

Vince Palace, IISD-Experimental Lakes Area
Patrick Smyth, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Project Supports:

Richard Grosshans
Bréanne Marcon-Lajeunesse
Madeline Stanley

Project Value:

$3.9 million

Genome Canada Contribution:

$1.1 million


Other Funding Partners:

IISD-Experimental Lakes Area, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association,Natural Resources Canada, Mitacs,Trans Mountain Corporation, Myera Group Inc., Jacor LLC, Stantec Inc., TransCanada Pipeline, Enbridge Inc., National Energy Board, Polaris Applied Sciences, Martin Ecosystems

Project Status: 

Ongoing (2019 - 2022)


Genome Canada Genomic Applications Partnership Program (Round 13)
Genome Prairie, Génome Québec; Environment