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UPEI’S Climate Research Lab Gets $250K For Coastal Erosion Drone Research

The Climate Research Lab at the University of Prince Edward Island has received $252,000 to help with its investigations into coastal erosion.

The lab was one of nine projects that shared $1.8 million in support from Irving Shipbuilding and the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) for ocean research announced Thursday.

Led by the lab’s director Adam Fenech, researchers will use sensors mounted on aerial drones to capture high-resolution images of two First Nations communities in P.E.I. — Lennox Island and Rocky Point — and one in New Brunswick.

The images will then be used to create digital simulations to help determine areas most at risk from erosion and rising sea levels in each community and aid in identifying roads and other infrastructure that are most threatened.

“The MEOPAR project is an important extension of the CLIVE virtual-reality technology developed by Professor Fenech and his colleagues at the UPEI Climate Research Lab,” said Robert Gimour, vice-president research and graduate studies at UPEI.

“The addition of high resolution data from instrumented drones will enhance the lab’s ability to predict climate-related threats to coastal infrastructure, residences and businesses, which will, in turn, aid in the development of adaptation strategies to minimize the economic impact of such threats.”