Government of Canada awards contract to assess cumulative effects of marine shipping on coastal marine ecosystems through Oceans Protection Plan

Canada is fortunate to have spectacular coastlines, serving as a home to rich biodiversity and precious ecosystems. The Government of Canada, under the Oceans Protection Plan, is taking action to preserve and restore these marine ecosystems that are vulnerable to increased marine shipping and development.

Following a fair, open and transparent process, Transport Canada has awarded a contract to ESSA Technologies Ltd. to look at methodologies and tools to assess the cumulative impacts of marine shipping on coastal marine ecosystems.

“I am pleased to announce this significant step towards better understanding Canada’s coastal ecosystems and the effects of regional marine vessel activity on the environment,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “We are happy to work with ESSA Technologies Ltd., which will help us identity ways that we can assess the effects of existing and future vessel movement on the environment.”

Transport Canada and ESSA Technologies will work together to review different methodologies and options for the assessment of cumulative effects, while continuing engagement with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities to understand their key concerns related to marine shipping. This collaboration will ensure the decision on which assessment tool to use is based on facts.

This C$95,000 investment is part of the C$9.3 million Cumulative Effects of Marine Shipping Initiative under the Oceans Protection Plan. Engagement with Indigenous and coastal communities to outline a framework for this national initiative began in the fall of 2017.

Maritime Editorial