Government of Canada to improve local maritime situational awareness and reduce marine traffic congestion through the Oceans Protection Plan
November 16, 2017 West Vancouver, BC
Canada has the world’s longest coastline, and our water is one of our most important resources. Canadians across the country rely on marine transportation to go about their everyday life or to deliver products to market in a safe and responsible way.
As we mark the one-year anniversary of Canada’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan—the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways—the Government of Canada is pleased to announce that $63 million will be dedicated to two initiatives, Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness and Anchorages.
Local marine traffic around Canada’s coasts is increasing. The $62.5 million Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative will create an accessible, real-time, common operating picture that provides coastal partners, including Indigenous peoples, provincial governments, scientific non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, with greater access to local maritime data.
Over five years, this new action will be designed with, and help Canada’s Indigenous peoples, coastal communities, and stakeholders to better understand activities occurring in the waters around them, improve collaboration between all parties, and lead to stronger marine safety planning, pollution prevention, and emergency response.
An anchorage is an area that is designated as suitable for a ship to anchor. Over three years, the $500,000 Anchorages initiative will bring together government, the marine industry, Indigenous peoples and stakeholder communities to develop a sustainable national anchorage framework. This work will include an assessment of social and environmental impacts, development of a formal process to identify new anchorage spots, draft best practices, and propose options for management and oversight of these anchorages.
The Oceans Protection Plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system while preserving our ecosystems, creating strong Indigenous partnerships and engaging coastal communities, and investing in research to ensure decisions are evidence based.
“Our Government is building a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while also protecting our environment and coastlines for the future. By working closely with those who are most impacted, we are taking action to make maritime information more available and to reduce marine traffic congestion. This will help ensure marine shipping in Canada is safe, responsible and better prepared to protect the environment and coastal communities.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
“Partnership and collaboration at the local level is key to the success of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. Enhancing awareness of local maritime activity and reducing marine traffic congestion will help to ensure marine activities on the West Coast are safe and responsible.”
MP, West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country
The Government of Canada will work with coastal partners and stakeholders to develop a user-friendly and accessible system that will integrate existing and new sources of information. This includes acquiring space-based Automatic Identification System’s data services, which will enhance our collective understanding of what is happening in local waters.
The Government of Canada has already announced initiatives worth more than $450 million under the Oceans Protection Plan.
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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