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Source: University of New Brunswick - Fredericton


October 13, 2006

October 13, 2006
UNB Saint John News Release: 06-183
Julia Heyland, Communications Manager (506) 648-5697

Officials from the University of New Brunswick Saint John joined with
representatives of the federal and provincial government today to celebrate
the official opening of the Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI), on the UNB
Saint John Campus. Speeches and an official ribbon cutting were followed by
tours of the new facility.

The CRI was formally established in 2000 as a collaboration of researchers
at the University of New Brunswick Saint John and Fredericton campuses. Once
established, the provision of adequate facilities was one of its highest
priorities. The new 2-storey facility, which is located as an addition to
the existing K.C. Irving Hall, contains both wet and dry labs as well as
office space for researchers, technicians and graduate students.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) invested in the project
through its Business Development Program, while the Province of New
Brunswick provided funding through the University Infrastructure Program.
The CRI also received a Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Award in
2004 as part of CFI investment for infrastructure support for 126 projects
at 57 Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other
non-profit research institutions. Construction of the facility began in
early September 2005.

"Canada’s New Government is committed to supporting real and concrete
measures to protect the environment," said the Honourable Greg Thompson,
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Regional Minister for New Brunswick on
behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Minister of ACOA. "The benefits of CRI’s work will be wide-reaching. It will
increase regional capacity, knowledge and innovation. And, in doing so, it
will enhance monitoring of watercourses, make our resource-based industry
more sustainable and our environmental consultants more competitive in
global markets."

"The opening of the Canadian Rivers Institute today is a significant
indicator of how UNB is helping to transform New Brunswick, and is a
significant milestone in growing our province’s capacity to address
environmental concerns and to innovate," said Dr. Ed Doherty, Minister of
Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour. "This innovation, driven by
our brightest and most creative minds, is helping to improve our
environment, our economy and our competitiveness as a province."

"We are thrilled to be able to open this facility today, to offer this
unique opportunity to graduate students and researchers to field test tools
and approaches to assess impacts on our river ecosystems," said Dr. Allen
Curry, Director of the CRI. "This facility will benefit all New Brunswickers
by providing a regional centre of excellence for identifying the causes of
environmental problems and developing solutions to improve the
sustainability of New Brunswick’s rivers."

"Today is a day to celebrate for UNB, the CRI and all of our funding
partners," said Dr. Kathryn Hamer, Vice-President UNB Saint John. "This new
facility marks a new era for UNB Saint John. As our first dedicated research
institute, it recognizes our ability to work collaboratively with other
academic institutions, government and industry to focus on some of the
region’s most pressing environmental challenges. With this building, we
become one of the country’s leading research institutions in aquatic

The CRI offers tremendous potential for teaching graduate students and
training future professionals in the pure and applied scientific disciplines
associated with river ecosystems. In Atlantic Canada, there is a great
opportunity to develop educational curricula and research protocols related
to the study of Canadian river environments because of the proximity to
natural and altered basins. It is a goal of the CRI to develop courses from
a uniquely Canadian perspective. The new tools and innovative assessment
techniques developed in the modernized CRI labs will also benefit Atlantic
consulting companies in growing their business and exporting their services
throughout Canada and international markets.

The mandate of the CRI is to carry out multi-disciplinary basic and applied
research focusing on river ecosystems, including their land-water linkages
for the purposes of conservation and habitat restoration. Initially founded
with two Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and two additional professors, the
CRI has grown to include 13 Fellows, 31 Associates, 15 staff, and 58
graduate students with linkages to scientists and researchers across Canada.

For more information on the Canadian Rivers Institute, visit the web site at

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