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Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada will establish a shared approach to better understand coastal ecosystems and the potential effects of regional marine vessel activity on the environment.
Concerns regarding the cumulative effects of marine shipping activities (including effects on fisheries, marine mammals and Indigenous use in coastal areas in Canada) are frequently raised through project-specific environmental assessments.
Gaps in data have led to a lack of understanding of shipping impacts on marine environments.
Through this initiative, Transport Canada will establish a collective approach to understanding potential regional marine shipping effects on the environment to support preservation and restoration of marine ecosystems and a world-leading marine safety system. Indigenous nations, local communities and stakeholders are being engaged to determine key concerns and help collect information which may be used to inform assessments of the cumulative effects of marine shipping. Data is being collected in 6 pilot areas within Northern BC, Southern BC, the St. Lawrence QC, the Bay of Fundy NB, South Coast NL and the Eastern Arctic NU. These areas provide a broad representation in terms of current and projected marine development as well as a variety of representative coastal environments.
Results of this initiative will include data collection, the development of a national cumulative effects assessment framework and specific tools that can be applied to existing vessel movements as well as future project developments.
The framework will be developed with Indigenous peoples, coastal communities and stakeholders. The data, framework and tools developed through this initiative will support evidence-based decisions that guide economic growth while preserving the marine ecosystem.
The initiative will: