Canada supports a new maritime information system pilot project

From: Transport Canada

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.

Yesterday, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade and Member of Parliament for Newfoundland and Labrador, Yvonne Jones, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport announced more than $1.3 million to develop a local, web-based maritime information system.

One million dollars is being provided to the Nunatsiavut Government to participate in a pilot project to develop, test, and evaluate this new maritime information system, a key component of the Oceans Protection Plan’s Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness (EMSA) initiative. The Nunatsiavut Government will receive an additional $327,000 in funding to collect and analyze water property data that will be inputted into system.

Launched in May 2019, the pilot system displays a range of valuable near real-time information, including data on vessel traffic, weather, and marine protected areas. As one of 10 Indigenous organizations from across Canada participating in the pilot project, the Nunatsiavut Government will test it in various environments, provide feedback, and apply their local knowledge to improve and develop the system.

With this funding, the Nunatsiavut Government will install a series of land-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) towers throughout Nunatsiavut to provide enhanced monitoring of marine traffic within the marine zone and adjacent waters. They will also purchase AIS transmitters that can be carried by small boats, snowmobiles, and search and rescue teams to enhance safety. The information collected through these transmitters will be made available to the pilot maritime information system in order to help support local marine safety and decision-making.

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.

Quotes

“Under the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative and the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is taking an innovative approach to improve our maritime awareness. We have the largest coastline in the world, and our partners in coastal communities are instrumental in ensuring that we continue to protect, preserve, and restore Canada’s oceans and sea routes. As a result of this innovation and collaboration, our marine safety system is stronger now than ever.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau

Minister of Transport

“Our coastal communities share ties to Canada’s oceans that span generations. Growing up in Newfoundland and Labrador, I know how important coasts and waterways are to our communities, economies, and culture. To better protect our coast, we need to ensure we are getting the best information possible to inform local decision making, which is why the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative announcement today is so significant.”

Yvonne Jones

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

Member of Parliament for Newfoundland and Labrador

Quick facts

  • 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 give coastal communities access to relevant data so they can plan vessel routes, identify sensitive areas, increase safety on the water and help protect the environment.

  • On July 23, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that all Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness pilot projects will operate until March 2022.

/Public Release. View in full here.