Advancing Knowledge in Support of Managing Cumulative Effects in the Salish Sea
Summary of a strategic assessment of effects on the environment of the Government of Canada’s response to Recommendation 1 of the National Energy Board (NEB), now the Canada Energy Regulator (CER).
As part of the NEB Reconsideration Report from February 2019 on the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Project, the NEB recommended the development of a regional cumulative effects management plan to assess the overall environmental state of, and on-going cumulative effects on, the Salish Sea.
In response to this recommendation, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), in partnerships with Indigenous groups and in alignment with the Salish Sea Initiative, will implement marine spatial planning and cumulative effects studies in the Salish Sea to better understand and mitigate the negative environmental impacts of development projects. When left unaddressed, cumulative environmental effects could result in irreversible damage to the environment.
Advancing the Government of Canada’s knowledge in support of managing cumulative effects in the Salish Sea will improve ECCC understanding of cumulative effects, which will enable more comprehensive environmental protection. ECCC’s activities will result in direct environmental outcomes on marine emissions, air quality, and water quality.
The initiative will be developed in collaboration with Indigenous groups and will integrate Indigenous knowledge, values and interests central to its development and delivery.
Federal research and monitoring activities will focus on:
- understanding marine emissions in the Salish Sea
- coordinating air quality research and monitoring
- leading water quality research and monitoring in the Burrard Inlet and Fraser River Estuary
Advancing cumulative effects knowledge and understanding will also contribute to the following Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals and related targets:
- Effective action on climate change: by studying emissions from marine shipping vessels and making future emission projections to reduce emissions
- Greening government: analyzing the cumulative impacts will allow for better understanding of the impacts of the Project
- Clean growth: by understanding regional cumulative effects which will be used to mitigate negative environmental effects of future projects in the region
- Healthy coasts and oceans: by aligning with priorities under the Ocean Protection Plan, implementing a marine spatial plan, improving ecological sustainability and monitoring the region
- Healthy wildlife populations: through marine spatial planning and understanding cumulative effects of development projects which will increase ECCC’s understanding of human impacts on the marine environment and the wildlife
- Connecting Canadians with nature: by working with Indigenous communities to support Indigenous capacity, participation, and Indigenous-led monitoring
This will also contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 8 Decent work and economic growth, SDG 13 Climate action, SDG 14 Life below water and SDG 17 Partnership for the goals.
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