The Government of Canada invites Indigenous groups to apply for projects to address underwater vessel noise in British Columbia

News release

December 13, 2023    British Columbia    Transport Canada

Underwater vessel noise can have a negative impact on endangered marine mammals. Acoustic disturbances create stress and can affect their ability to find prey, navigate effectively, and communicate with each other. Through the Quiet Vessel Initiative, the Government of Canada is taking action to mitigate the effects of underwater noise and protect the marine environment.

Today, the Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez, announced that up to $2.3 million is now available through the Quiet Vessel Initiative to 29 Indigenous groups whose traditional territories are adjacent to the Trans Mountain Expansion project marine shipping route. This funding will support projects and activities that address the impacts of underwater vessel noise on the marine environment and vulnerable marine mammals, including the Southern Resident killer whale.

The deadline for project proposals is April 10, 2024, and all projects are to be completed by March 31, 2026. Examples of eligible activities include Indigenous-led/Indigenous-participation in research or testing projects aimed at evaluating quiet vessel technologies; supporting capacity to monitor the marine environment for underwater noise in traditional territories; and supporting the development of territorial noise monitoring and management plans.  

By participating in this initiative, Indigenous groups will help evaluate the most promising technologies, vessel designs, retrofits and operational practices to reduce underwater vessel noise. Indigenous participation will also increase local capacity and technical training in these areas.


We want to work with Indigenous groups to help find solutions to reduce underwater vessel noise and keep endangered marine mammals safe. We need the knowledge of Indigenous groups to advance our efforts to protect marine ecosystems. By working together as true partners, the Government of Canada and Indigenous Peoples will advance on the path to reconciliation.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Quiet Vessel Initiative is one of a series of accommodation measures that were established to address the concerns of potentially affected Indigenous groups along the Trans Mountain Expansion project route.

  • The Trans Mountain Expansion Project in British Columbia began construction in December 2019, and will be an important driver in Canada’s economy. It will also provide well-paying jobs, training, compensation and contracting to Indigenous Peoples.

  • Funding is exclusively available to 29 Indigenous groups, and the following organizations are invited to apply:

    • Musqueam Indian Band
    • Squamish Nation
    • Tsawwassen First Nation
    • Tsleil-Waututh Nation
    • Cowichan Tribes
    • Halalt First Nation
    • Lake Cowichan First Nation
    • Lyackson First Nation
    • Penelakut Tribe
    • Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation
    • Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) First Nation
    • Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation
    • Esquimalt Nation
    • Malahat Nation
    • Pauquachin First Nation
    • Scianew (Beecher Bay) Indian Band
    • Semiahmoo First Nation
    • Songhees (Lekwungen) Nation,
    • Tsartlip First Nation
    • Tsawout First Nation
    • Tseycum First Nation
    • T’Sou-ke First Nation
    • Ditidaht First Nation
    • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h First Nations (Maa-nulth)
    • Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Maa-nulth)
    • Pacheedaht First Nation
    • Toquaht Nation (Maa-nulth)
    • Uchucklesaht Tribe (Maa-nulth)
    • Ucluelet First Nation (Maa-nulth)

Associated links


Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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