May 2, 2019
Protecting the marine environment and all users of Canada’s oceans and waterways is of paramount importance. Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous peoples and in close collaboration with local stakeholders and coastal communities to protect Canada’s unique marine environment from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that $341,987 for the Ekaluktutiak Hunters and Trappers Organization to participate in a pilot project to develop, test, and evaluate a new maritime awareness information system. This national system is a key component of the Oceans Protection Plan’s Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative.
Once the web-based pilot system launches this spring, it will display a range of valuable near real-time maritime information, including data on vessel traffic, weather, and marine protected areas. As one of 10 Indigenous organizations across Canada participating in the pilot project, the Ekaluktutiak Hunters and Trappers Organization will test the system, provide feedback, and apply their local, traditional knowledge to improve and develop the system.
This funding will support the Ekaluktutiak Hunters and Trappers Organization in building local capacity and knowledge of the system and data, and to incorporate locally and culturally relevant improvements to the system, including knowledge related to vessel traffic and safety. This funding will also support other community-based organizations working towards enhancing marine safety in the Arctic.
The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.
“The Government of Canada, under the Oceans Protection Plan, is investing in protecting and preserving our coasts. Canada has the world’s longest coastline, and from east, to west, to north, each coastline offers unique opportunities and challenges. This is why we are so grateful that organizations across the country, including the Ekaluktutiak Hunters and Trappers Organization, are participating in the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative. Through this initiative, we will be able to gather important information that will help inform local decisions, to build upon our strong marine safety system and protect our coasts for generations to come.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
The Government of Canada has announced over 50 initiatives under the Oceans Protection Plan since its launch in November, 2016.
The five-year, $62.5 million Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative was announced in November 2017.
The web-based system will help coastal communities access relevant data so they can make local decisions to plan vessel routes, identify sensitive areas, increase safety on the water, and help protect the environment.