12 First Nations to play key role in ocean protection
Canada values the traditional knowledge and expertise of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and coastal communities in protecting our coasts. These communities have identified the need for more user-friendly local data on marine traffic. This is why, under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada launched the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative in 2017.
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that three additional pilot partners along the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Project marine shipping route are being added to the initiative. The Scianew First Nation, Malahat First Nation, and Tseycum First Nation, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, will join 10 existing pilot project hosts across Canada. The three new pilot host communities will have access to up to $2,460,000 over two years to establish the required capacity, including staff, infrastructure, and equipment so they can successfully participate in the pilot project and share feedback.
“The Government of Canada remains committed to keeping Canadians safe, particularly during these unprecedented and challenging times. The Oceans Protection Plan’s Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative has received a positive response in communities that are participating and we are grateful to all of the First Nations who have been involved in this process. We look forward to the new ideas and fresh perspectives of the new hosts who have come on board.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
The Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative is piloting a new, easy-to-use, web-based system that displays a range data on vessel traffic, weather information, hydrography and marine environmental information. . It supports local and collaborative planning, analysis and decision-making to help communities:
- Improve maritime situational awareness;
- plan vessel routes;
- identify sensitive areas;
- enhance marine safety; and
- address concerns about the potential impacts increased vessel traffic may present to marine activities and the environment locally.
Through this system, Indigenous and coastal communities can access a near real-time picture of local maritime activity and other relevant information through their computers, smart phones and tablets. Pilot partners will have an important role in developing this technology by using the system in their communities.
The five year, $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come.
Each Nation along the TMX Project marine shipping route will be able to customize the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative platform based on their unique local requirements for marine safety and environmental monitoring and protection.