Sharing best practices is one of COSIA’s main objectives and the goal of its annual Fall Field Tour. This year’s tour is hosted by Imperial and Canadian Natural, both COSIA member companies actively involved in COSIA’s Land Environmental Priority Area.
The tour provides participants – which range from environmental experts, to federal and provincial government specialists, and researchers – with an on-the-ground, face-to-face opportunity to share learnings related to reclamation practices. It’s a chance for them to compare sites at different stages of land management, view successful techniques, and discuss revegetation opportunities and challenges.
This year’s tour will visit Canadian Natural’s Mrs. T’s Lake and Jackpine Lake at the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, and Imperial’s Muskeg Lake, which is part of their Kearl Oil Sands Project. Compensation lakes replace fish habitat that has been disturbed by oil sands operations and they are rigorously managed with the end goal of recreating sustainable ecosystems.
Jackpine Lake was established in 2010 and now offers a diverse and thriving ecology for fish and other aquatic species. A significant amount of reclamation work has also been completed at Muskeg Lake where the water is deep enough for fish to winter in.
“The best management practice tours that we host are one of the marquee events on the calendar for the Land Environmental Priority Area,” says Jack O’Neill, COSIA Land Director. “COSIA members take great pride in highlighting their reclamation efforts and successes. Sharing learnings and knowledge with multiple stakeholders in the field has numerous benefits, including starting conversations that would likely not happen during our typical day-to-day interactions.”
COSIA works to source the best minds from industry, government, academics and the public to create breakthrough science and technologies that will accelerate environmental performance improvement in the oil sands. Land is one of our four environmental priority areas, the others are Water, Tailings and Greenhouse Gases.