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Ashley Noseworthy

Edgewise Environmental is a certified “women-owned” marine environmental consultancy focused on marine mammals, seabirds, and anthropogenic noise mitigation solutions. We consult with any industry the in the Blue Economy, including renewable energy, oil and gas, emergency response, telecommunications, shipping, and other environmental consultancies, as well as government and academia. Our expertise includes environmental impact assessments, literature reviews, oiled wildlife response coordination and management,
wildlife database management, environmental project management, abandoned vessel assessments, environmental personnel provision, and the provision of seabird handling equipment.

We also developed Canada’s first formal marine mammal observation, seabird observation, and passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) programs, taught to Canadian regulation and legislation. We have delivered training across Canada, from coast to coast, including Newfoundland and Labrador (our home base), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and British Columbia.

The EDGEWISE vision is to implement a new standard for marine animal mitigation within the Canadian Blue Economy. This will provide our clients with unparalleled expertise and our students with industry-leading knowledge and skills to better protect our oceans. Every project we engage with is centred around our core values of; Competency, Integrity, Synergy, and Adaptability.

Tell us about yourself?

I began working with marine mammals at a very young age, volunteering at a local cold ocean research facility when I was just 12 years old. I continued to volunteer and work in the position through my school years and my undergraduate degree. I knew early on that I wanted a career in marine mammals, and it never wavered. I completed a Biology Degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and a Master’s in International Marine Environmental Consulting at Newcastle University in the UK. I also spent over 10 years working offshore in a variety of environmental roles, starting out as a Marine Mammal Observer and working into more senior roles. I’ve had the opportunity to work around the world, including the UAE, West Africa, Eastern Canada, and the Arctic. My passion for business and the desire to be an entrepreneur didn’t blossom until I began working offshore and recognized the immediate space in the Canadian market for a niche environmental consultancy. I have very much geared my previous career choices and formal education toward the goal of owning my own consulting company.

I realized my passion for underwater noise and marine mammal acoustics during a volunteer trip to Costa Rica between my second and third years of my undergraduate degree. While I have always loved ocean science, I had serious doubts regarding my field of study at that time and chose to go into the field and gather some new experiences to see if the passion held fast. I was completing a field study when my volunteer supervisor, a professor at the local university, put me on a mini project focused on dolphin recordings. It was a pivotal moment.

Ultimately, what pushed me into merging my passion for the ocean with entrepreneurship was the desire to do things differently and better to protect our oceans as they become busier than ever. I am also, and have always been, a strong advocate for women and underrepresented groups in STEM and ocean industries.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

If I could give myself some advice two years ago, it would be the following;

  1. No one had a pandemic plan as part of their business plan. The world can change in an instant, and it’s the ability to embrace change and pivot that keeps a business resilient and thriving (thrilled to say we did just that!).
  2. Strive for balance. When growing a business, it is all too easy to be completely absorbed. Taking time away to reset is valuable and key to sustainability. Burnout is a real thing.


What problem does your business solve?

Edgewise Environmental addresses several problems related to marine conservation and environmental management. Some of the key issues we tackle include:

  • Marine Mammal and Seabird Conservation: Edgewise Environmental focuses on mitigating the impacts of human activities on marine mammals and seabirds. We work with industries in the Blue Economy to develop strategies and solutions that minimize the adverse effects on these vulnerable species.
  • Anthropogenic Noise Mitigation: The company specializes in mitigating marine anthropogenic noise to help industries understand the potential impacts of underwater noise pollution and develop strategies to minimize its effects on marine mammals and other marine life.
  • Environmental Impact Assessments: Edgewise Environmental conducts portions of environmental impact assessments to evaluate the potential effects of development projects on the marine environment. By identifying and assessing potential risks and impacts, we help clients make informed decisions and implement measures to minimize adverse effects.
  • Training and Education: The company plays a vital role in educating and training personnel in marine mammal observation, seabird observation, and passive acoustic monitoring. By sharing their expertise and knowledge, we contribute to building a skilled workforce that can effectively protect marine animals and their habitats.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

My ultimate inspiration for Edgewise stemmed from my deep-rooted passion for the ocean, and at its core, I am motivated by a desire to make a positive impact and contribute to the sustainability of our planet. Other elements that really contributed to my journey into entrepreneurship included identifying a niche or gap in the market early on in my career, and that was in the form of training for environmental personnel. I recognized an opportunity to provide specialized services or expertise that wasn’t currently being offered. I also am very proud of my roots, of being from Newfoundland and being a Canadian. I always want my province and my country to shine and be at the forefront of innovation, especially when it comes to oceans. Anything I can do to contribute to that plays a role in my continued inspiration to grow Edgewise.

It was also the desire to advance sustainable practices, understand our oceans further, and develop collaborations where academia, governments, and private industry can come together to push for positive change.

I also want to represent for women in a traditionally male-dominated industry to continually break barriers and show others what is possible. I think we all do this in some form in our own lives and in mine I want to ensure that young women in STEM fields know that a career focused on and in the ocean is possible. That no matter how you identify, if you have passion for what you do, there is space! This has led me to ensure Edgewise was certified “women owned” from the beginning.

What is your magic sauce?

First and foremost, there is no one “secret recipe” that make s a business successful. A successful business looks different to everyone. Ultimately, for Edgewise it comes down to remaining authentic to what we do. We have niche areas that we specialize in and offer a variety of services in those niche areas. It’s what we are known for. It’s keeping true to our values, remaining humble, but celebrating the wins. Ultimately, it’s about the people! Our secret sauce has been the incredible employees, contractors, and supporters we have had along the way. It takes a team to grow a business, and it’s important to trust your team, support them, and let them shine. Make sure they also know the mission – what’s the goal of the company? Ensure their contributions are highlighted.

Edgewise Environmental differentiates itself from its competition in several ways; through specialized expertise, the development of an ever-growing and comprehensive service range, pioneering programs and training, geographic reach, and our emphasis on oceans and sustainability.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Edgewise just celebrated its fifth year in business (wahoo!), so this vision would bring us to being a decade old, and the vision is really centred around growth, renewable energy, collaboration and technology.

We want to expand our services by developing new capabilities and expertise in emerging areas of marine environmental conservation. This could involve incorporating innovative technologies or addressing evolving challenges such as climate change impacts or emerging contaminants.

The company plans to expand its operations beyond its current geographical focus. We may target new regions within Canada or explore opportunities for international expansion to provide our expertise and services in different marine environments.

Collaboration has always been something we value and cherish. We (the grander collective “we”) can get far more accomplished working together than trying to do it all on our own. The establishment of strategic partnerships and collaborations with other organizations, industry stakeholders, and academic institutions is certainly something we see in our future.

We also want to grow our research and innovation stream, investing in novel solutions to stay at the forefront of scientific advancements and technology. To contribute to cutting-edge research, develop new methodologies, and leverage innovative tools to enhance our services and deliver more effective environmental solutions.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

This is an easy and obvious one – the pandemic! We went from only delivering our courses in person to pivoting our delivery online. Getting courseware into a usable and meaningful online platform in a format accessible to all is no small task.

Our service delivery also had to change during that time, given the rules around social distancing and testing. It brought up questions related to personal data and privacy. It was a wild time to have a startup but we learned so much. If anything, it fast-tracked us into maturity and was a real test of fortitude.

How can people get involved?

For our consulting services, we are always eager to discuss and collaborate with any company working in the Blue Economy that may have a project that needs bespoke environmental consulting, particularly in our niche areas. We have a significant interest in renewable energy and working with more indigenous communities on the West coast in British Columbia.

For our training services, these are open to everyone. From continued professional development reaching out for a custom workshop, or taking an interest in working offshore, we have something for everyone.

A summary of our services and a training calendar can be found on our website:, or we can be reached at [email protected].