The Importance of Canada’s Coasts: What We’ve Heard

Consultation open: 07 Sept. 2017
Report date: September 6, 2018


  • The health of our oceans and waterways for future generations was identified as a top priority.
  • Main themes of the consultation comments included: anchorage and shipping issues, biodiversity protection, reducing pollution levels, and the need for further consultation.
  • The enforcement of the Interim Protocol for the Use of Southern B.C. Anchorages was raised frequently.
  • Oil spill and pipeline issues had been raised more recently due to the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline.
  • Those who participate in Let’s Talk would like to feel heard on Oceans Protection Plan initiatives

Key themes:


Anchorage and shipping issues are a priority for respondents. Suggestions from respondents included: slowing the ships down, federally regulating ports for heavy shipping activities, and, provide the Port of Vancouver the resources it needs to transition to a coordinated, single source vessel arrival system rather than the current multiple jurisdiction supply chain management model. With the launch of the Interim Order in 2018, residents have also submitted concerns about the noise and light pollution these anchored ships cause on top of the environmental damage and pollution.

Comments received indicated that marine biodiversity must be protected. According to feedback, chronic, residual pollution from existing shipping practices and accumulation of waste on beaches are harming habitats and spawning areas for feeder fish which salmon, whales, seabirds, and other mammals and land animals rely upon. It was mentioned throughout the consultation that the health of our oceans is also vital to human health, as oceans provide half of the world’s oxygen.

Early in the discussion, it was stated that further consultations will be required. Respondents stated that they would like the communities affected by local initiatives and Indigenous groups to be involved in the decision making process behind the Oceans Protection Plan before they are implemented.

How the Oceans Protection Plan is addressing feedback:

To learn more about how the Oceans Protection Plan is addressing issues raised during this consultation, please visit our Report to Canadians.