The Port of Prince Rupert is one of six Canadian locations with a high amount of vessel traffic where baseline data will be gathered for a new data management system that will help researchers better understand and protect marine ecosystems. (The Northern View file photo)

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

The federal government has committed $1.2 million for a data management system considered crucial to understanding and protecting marine ecosystems in Canadian ports.

The web-based system, being developed by the St. Lawrence Global Observatory (SLGO), will collect baseline data from 39 environmental projects from non-governmental organizations and coastline communities where increased vessel traffic is a concern.

READ MORE: Port Authority leading the way for seafarers to have a shore-break

“The SLGO team is pleased to take part in this major project and to accompany all these partners towards a better management of their data. Making the data standardized and available to all will promote the reuse of a very large number of these data for a better understanding of marine ecosystems for the benefit of future generations,”Andréane Bastien, director general of SLGO said.”

Study areas with heavy or increasing vessel traffic include Port of Vancouver, B.C.; the Port of Prince Rupert, B.C.; the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary, QC; the Port of Saint John, NB; Placentia Bay, NL; and Iqaluit, NU.

The project is part of the $50.8 million Coastal Environmental Baseline Program established in 2017 under the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan. The program is a collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists, Indigenous and coastal communities, non-governmental organizations, academia and other local partners.

READ MORE: Port’s performance remains strong during COVID-19

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan announced the project funding in a press release July 7.

“Science is at the foundation of every decision we make at DFO,” Jordan stated. “If we are to succeed in protecting 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025, we must have access to the very best science and research. That’s exactly why we are proud to fund this important project led by the St. Lawrence Global Observatory.

“It will increase our understanding of Canada’s coastal ecosystems and empower our government to take informed and effective action as we work to protect our oceans for generations to come.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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