Welcome to the 2017 Mackenzie and Beaufort breakup season!
This newsletter was initiated in 2006 by Steve Solomon and continued by Friends of Steven Solomon (Dustin Whalen, Paul Fraser, Don Forbes) over the past few years. The team is now into their twelfth season of annual breakup reporting. We hope this year will be good to everyone, without too much flooding. We will try to keep you posted on events as they unfold. As always, photos and on-the-ground reports are the really interesting pieces and we’ll try to pass on any you can send us as we watch the gauges and the satellite imagery.
The original purpose was to document flooding over the outer Mackenzie Delta and adjacent coast in support of Geological Survey of Canada and ArcticNet research programs, but the role of the newsletter has evolved over time so that now it provides timely updates on the state of breakup and extent of flooding for a wide range of purposes and stakeholders in the region, including the outlying ISR settlements of Tuktoyaktuk, Sachs Harbour, Paulatuk, and Ulukhaktok. The intention is to track the progress of ice breakup in the Mackenzie River Delta and southeastern Beaufort Sea, and help keep the local communities informed. The newsletter is distributed to >400 residents and stakeholders semi-daily during the spring flood season, in May and June. The newsletter also relies on reports and photographs contributed by observers living and working in the region and, in most cases, personally affected by breakup events. The richness of this locally sourced information and the ability to reflect it back to the region has transformed the newsletter and has provided on-the-ground intelligence on current conditions.
We also have a Mackenzie-Beaufort Breakup group on Facebook, so if you haven’t already joined, please do so today! We have nearly 500 members and growing. While this is only the second year for our FaceBook community, over time we hope this forum hosted in the ISR will take over as the main place to share observations and experience during breakup in the Delta and the coastal communities of the region. We need to start thinking about how observations can be archived to add to our collective knowledge of breakup timing and processes and there may be roles for many partners in doing this.
Funding for our current research is from the Climate Change Geoscience Program of the Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. This work is also supported by ArcticNet as a local knowledge sharing and mobilization activity and contribution to CACCON (the Circumpolar Arctic Coastal Communities KnOwledge Network).
For those of you living in the north, we welcome any observations of timing of events, extent of flooding, evidence of breakup, or anything out of the ordinary, and we thank you for all of the feedback received so far. Anyone wishing to subscribe to the mailing list to receive the Newsletter or contribute can do so via the Facebook site or by contacting Dustin Whalen directly.