New investments in surveying for safer navigation


Mariners, Indigenous peoples and coastal communities rely heavily on hydrographic surveys and charts to keep them safe and to make a living. Data collected through these surveys, such as water depth, levels, and tides, help create nautical charts that are used to navigate safely.

Under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is investing close to $110 million over five years for charting and surveying activities that will help make navigation safer in key areas. Under this initiative, the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) will chart 23 high-priority commercial ports and near-shore areas along all three coasts.

The funding will enhance hydrographic services and deliver improved navigational products, such as high-resolution electronic navigational charts and real-time information on tides, into the hands of mariners. This new investment will allow CHS to increase their surveying activities, which will fill important gaps in critical areas across the country that currently have limited and out-of-date navigational information. The Arctic in particular will benefit from additional hydrographic information in key areas where information is missing or not available.

To date, CHS has completed new surveys of eight ports in British Columbia and Quebec. It has also started accelerated surveying in the Arctic and high risk near-shore areas coast to coast. Over the next five years, CHS will continue to increase its surveying activities in the Arctic, British Columbia, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Great Lakes. Reliable and dependable navigation charts and products will lead to safer and more efficient navigation.

This information will strengthen navigational safety in and around ports, making high-risk areas safer and reduce the risk of accidents. Modern hydrographic information will also provide a better scientific understanding of the seabed, to help us better protect the environment.

About the Canadian Hydrographic Service

Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service has the responsibility for charting the world's longest coastline as well as over six million square kilometres of continental shelf and territorial waters, including extensive inland waterways such as the St. Lawrence Seaway.

CHS activities continue to deepen our knowledge of Canadian waters and provide important products and information that ensure the safe navigation of Canada’s waterways. The data collected will lead to high-resolution depictions of the depth, shape and structure of Canada’s oceans, lakes and rivers and helps to add precision in the determination of Canada’s maritime boundaries and sovereignty.

CHS continues to use the latest technologies to make the work done today more comprehensive and accurate than ever before. Surveys will be done using both existing and emerging technologies, including multibeam sonar surveys, new Laser Airborne Hydrography (LiDAR - Light Detection And Ranging) techniques, Automated Hydrographic Surface Vehicles, and increased use of satellite imagery to fill hydrographic data gaps.

High-priority ports – survey schedule
Port Expected Timeline
British Columbia
Port Alberni 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Prince Rupert 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Stewart 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Vancouver (English Bay) 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Squamish 2018-19
Port Mcneill 2018-19
Nanaimo Harbour 2018-19
Deltaport 2018-19
Campbell River 2019-20
Crofton 2019-20
Chemainus 2019-20
Esquimalt 2020-21
Victoria Harbour 2020-21
Îles de la Madeleine 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Havre St. Pierre 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Port Alfred (La Baie) 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Port Cartier 2017-18 - COMPLETED
Sept-Îles (Pointe-Noire) 2018-19
Baie Comeau 2018-19
Trois Rivières 2018-19
New Brunswick
Saint John 2020-21
Nova Scotia
Port Hawkesbury 2020-21
Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown 2018-19

May 2018

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