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  • Project Type:

    Scientific Research

  • Project Name:

    Archaeological Survey of the Maud Bight Wreck (210X3)

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PROJECT TITLE:Archaeological Survey of the Maud Bight Wreck (210X3).APPLICANT NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION:Ryan HarrisSenior Underwater ArchaeologistParks Canada, Underwater Archaeology Team1800 Walkley Road, Ottawa, ONK1H 8K3Ryan.harris@pc.gc.ca613.992.2125 x 203PROJECT OBJECTIVES:At the request of Parks Canada’s Nunavut Field Unit, the survey by the Underwater Archaeology Team will aim to document (in detail) the partial hull remains of a wooden sailing ship, first detected by local Inuit in the 1820s, and believed to represent the beached wreckage of a British whaler in Maud Bight. The hull remains will be archaeologically documented and effort will be made to locate any additional wreckage that might be found in the waters immediately offshore.PROJECT LOCATION:The Maud Bight Wreck (210X3) is located in Sirmilik National Park on the north shore of Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (see attached map). The known hull remains are found on land, above the high tide mark, approximately 100 m inshore from the beach at Maud Bight. There is the possibility of additional hull remains being detected in the 3.2 km offshore extension of the MBS boundary. PROPOSED DATE AND DURATION OF VISIT:The survey will be of brief duration, lasting only 1 or 2 days (approximately the 1st and 2nd of October, 2018, depending on weather and sea ice conditions).METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION:The survey will be staged from the 29 m Parks Canada Research Vessel David Thompson (see photo attached), which will anchor offshore. A 5.90 m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) will be launched from the ship, to deploy the survey team to the wreck site, and also to conduct sonar survey in search of additional wreckage offshore. SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES AND RATIONALE:The hull remains will be documented using both digital photography and manual recording with tape measures and rulers. Select structural timbers will be unobtrusively sampled to identify the specific wood species used (a given wood sample being approximately the size of one’s thumbnail). Representative examples of the various fasteners used in the vessel’s construction will also be recovered under the provisions of a Parks Canada Research and Collection Permit, all to enable comparison with other 19th -Century British ships that the team has been studying elsewhere in the Arctic (namely HMS Erebus, HMS Terror, and HMS Investigator). The terrestrial survey will involve an estimated 4 people for 1 or 2 days.The RHIB will also be used to deploy sonar (towed side-scan and multi-beam) to detect any additional hull remains that might potentially be found offshore. The marine survey will involve an estimated 2 people for 1 or 2 days.WASTE DISPOSAL:No waste will be deposited or left in the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary or Sirmilik National Park. All garbage will be compacted on ship and stored for subsequent removal to approved land fill when the ship next calls into port.All sewage (black water) and grey water will be treated by the ship’s brand new sewage treatment plant. The plant can easily accommodate all waste from the ship’s maximum personnel complement of 14, and the treated water exceeds the most stringent IMO MEPC. 227 (64) marine pollution control standards. The actual complement on board will only be 8 or 9 people, including the ship’s crew.POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES:The terrestrial survey crew expects to be on shore less than 8 hours in total and will concentrate all activity on the hull remains of the 210X3 wreck site. Consequently the environmental impact on wildlife is expected to be negligible. Any nesting areas located on the beach will be carefully avoided. Noise will be kept to a minimum. No motors or generators will be brought on shore and the outboard motors on the RHIB are both quiet and efficient. All personnel will sleep on ship and no land camp will be required.If bowhead whales are encountered in Maud Bight, a minimum 500 m separation buffer will be maintained with respect to the RHIB, and marine survey will be suspended while they remain in the area.MEASURES TO AVOID DANGEROUS WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS:The site is located approximately 100 m inland from shore. The bridge crew of the RV David Thompson (anchored offshore) will maintain a watch for dangerous wildlife with binoculars, and alert the survey team by VHF if they need to return to the boat on the beach and head back to the ship. No firearms will be brought ashore.COMMUNITY CONSULTATION AND INVOLVEMENT:The interest of Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team to conduct archaeological survey of the Maud Bight Wreck (210X3) was communicated by letters (attached) sent via e-mail on 23 March 2018, to the Hamlet of Pond Inlet and the HTA – Mittamatalik, respectively.Parks Canada has also been exploring the possibility of staffing a Nunavut beneficiary to work on the RV David Thompson in October 2018. If a graduate of the Nunavut Marine Fisheries Training Consortium holding the requisite STCW Marine Basic Safety and STCW Proficiency in Survival Craft certificates can be identified, this person could be staffed as one of the ship’s deck hands for various surveys along the Baffin Island coast, and would support the marine survey in Maud Bight.FUTURE PLANS WITHIN THE PROTECTED AREA:The results of the archaeological survey will be provided to cultural resource management personnel with the Parks Canada Nunavut Field Unit to inform future updates to the Sirmilik National Park management plan.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Application screening started 2018-06-29
  • Commenting period 2018-07-10
  • Received Comment submissions from Parties: Notice re comments received 2018-07-11
  • Board voting 2018-07-27
  • SDR Issued 2018-07-27
  • NOI Issued 2018-07-27
  • Application screening completed 2018-07-27
  • North Baffin
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