New science program to study areas of high vessel traffic

News Release

Vancouver, BC – Canada’s coasts are home to abundant fisheries, support the livelihoods of Indigenous and coastal communities, and attract tourism. Our coasts also enable responsible shipping of our goods to and from overseas.

The Government of Canada is taking concrete action, under the Oceans Protection Plan, to assess how human activities may impact our marine ecosystems over time.

Today, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour, Terry Beech, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, Jonathan Wilkinson, on behalf of Ministers Dominic LeBlanc and Catherine McKenna, announced that the Government of Canada is implementing a $50.8 million Coastal Environmental Baseline Program to help assess the impacts of human activities on our marine ecosystems.

During the coming years, scientists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and community partners will collect comprehensive baseline data in six areas of the country where there is existing or potential increasing vessel traffic: Port of Vancouver, BC; Port of Prince Rupert, BC; Lower

St. Lawrence Estuary, QC; Port of Saint John, NB; and Placentia Bay, NL. The sixth area will be located in the Arctic. By studying the current state of these areas, we can better detect changes in the environment and improve our understanding of the effects of human activity on the marine environment over time.

Partnerships with local Indigenous and coastal communities are key to the success of this program. These communities have valuable insights and expertise about their local ecosystems, and we will be seeking their assistance in determining what data will be collected in each area.

The data collected from this program will be used when making decisions that could impact sensitive marine habitat and species.

This announcement was made during the World Environmental Education Congress where Canada officially joined the CleanSeas campaign – a UN initiative to eliminate major sources of marine litter – further solidifying its commitment to keeping our oceans cleaned.

Photo legend: On September 11, 2017, Parliamentary Secretary, Jonathan Wilkinson, UN Secretary General, Elliot Harris, President and CEO of The Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. John Nightingale and Parliamentary Secretary, Terry Beech make important announcements on ocean health.


Additional Multimedia

Parliamentary Secretary, Jonathan Wilkinson, UN Secretary General, Elliot Harris, President and CEO of The Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. John Nightingale and Parliamentary Secretary, Terry Beech

Quotes

“Our Government is taking action to reduce the impacts of human activities on our coastal marine environments. The Coastal Environmental Baseline Program will support evidence-based decisions that will guide economic growth while preserving our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 


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“As the current stewards of our land and water, it's our collective duty to acknowledge the many demands placed on our oceans and work together to ensure that this environmental and economic resource is made healthier and stronger for future generations. This community-based science program will help us preserve and restore marine ecosystems that Canadians depend on and take great pride in.”

Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour

"Our coastlines are important environmental links to the diversity of life on our planet. For Canadians, they define much of the natural beauty we hold dear. We are firm in our resolve to protect and enhance Canada's coastlines and its oceans, and to play a leadership role internationally in addressing existing and emerging environmental concerns."

Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver

Associated Links

Contacts

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Laura Gareau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-992-3474
Laura.Gareau@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338
1-844-836-7799
ec.media.ec@canada.ca

Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Environment and Climate Change Canada
613-462-5473
Marie-pascale.desrosiers@canada.ca

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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