Salish Sea Marine Bird Monitoring and Conservation Program
Summary of a strategic assessment of effects on the environment of the Salish Sea marine bird monitoring and conservation program.
The establishment of a marine bird monitoring and protection program in the Salish Sea supports the Government of Canada’s response to the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Reconsideration Report for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) Project. In this report, the NEB recommended that the Government of Canada undertake the development and implementation, with support from industry, of a marine bird monitoring and protection program for the Salish Sea.
The overall goal of the Salish Sea Marine Bird Monitoring and Conservation Program (the Program) is to understand the impacts of marine shipping on marine birds in the Salish Sea and adjacent waters. Implementing this Program will fill an identified gap in the monitoring of marine birds in the area. The Program will support the establishment of quantitative baseline estimates of marine bird populations in the Salish Sea. This work, paired with the Indigenous-led monitoring, will inform future actions to protect marine birds in the region.
The program will focus on achieving 5 primary outcomes:
- gather information related to marine migratory bird baselines and monitoring
- use baseline information to assess the impacts of marine shipping on marine birds in the Salish Sea
- identify and implement appropriate mitigation actions and/or monitoring approaches to lessen identified impacts and support adaptive management decision-making
- enhance Indigenous engagement and capacity for Indigenous monitoring activities
- incorporate Indigenous Traditional Knowledge with Western Science to support the identification of adverse effects of shipping on traditional uses of migratory birds
The program will contribute to the following Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
- Healthy coasts and oceans: through monitoring migratory marine birds, which will give Environment Climate Change Canada (ECCC) scientists a better understanding of the health of the marine food web in the Salish Sea, thereby also contributing to SDG 14 Life below water
- Healthy wildlife populations: through the collection of baseline data under the Program, which will generate quantitative estimates of populations including varying seasonal distributions of migratory bird populations, thereby also contributing to SDG 15 Life on land
- Connecting Canadians with nature: through working collaboratively with Indigenous people on a wide range of Indigenous protected and conserved areas in order to recover species at risk and other priority species, thereby also contributing to SDG 17 Partnerships for the goals
The Program will be implemented in alignment with the Salish Sea initiative. The Indigenous-led governance model would enable the Indigenous-led monitoring that will support the activities and outcomes to better protect migratory marine bird populations in the Salish Sea.
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