New Measures to Protect Canada's Oceans

Vancouver, Canada (Marketwire) - The federal government has announced new activities to improve the health of Canada’s oceans as part of Canada’s National Water Strategy. An investment of $42.5 million over three years will fund activities to conserve and protect Canadian oceans. This funding is in addition to the $19.0 million over two years announced in the 2007 Budget.

“Today’s funding is further proof of our government’s commitment to the health of our oceans and protecting our environment,” said Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will receive $23.2 million to support its valuable protection and conservation work. A few of the key initiatives include, creating four new national Oceans Centres of Expertise, enhancing our spill response capacity and emergency planning in the Arctic Ocean and conducting scientific research for the designation of new marine protected areas.

This new funding will strengthen Canada’s ability to prevent, detect and reduce pollution, increase protection for ecologically significant marine areas through nine new marine protected areas, and enhance cooperation with domestic and international partners for more integrated oceans management.

Environment Canada also announced an activity under the National Water Strategy to protect seabirds in the marine waters around the Scott Islands.

“As the Prime Minister said this summer, the federal government has a plan to strengthen and realize the vast potential of Canada’s North,” said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians.

Indian and Northern Affairs will receive $175,000 to support Canada’s role in the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) of projected shipping activities and associated environmental, social and economic impacts.

Under the National Water Strategy, Canada will work with its provincial, territorial Aboriginal and international partners to co-operatively manage its marine environment.

The initiatives include:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

  • New Oceans Centres of Expertise (Coastal, Corals, Data Integration, Traditional Ecological Knowledge)

  • Spill Capacity and Emergency Response Strategy- Canadian Coast Guard

  • Federal Marine Protected Area Strategy Implementation

  • Development of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Network

  • Marine Protected Areas Establishment

  • Ecosystem Science Support and Advice on Health of the Oceans

  • Collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund

  • Arctic Council- Ecosystem Projects

  • Gulf of Maine Studies

  • Integrated Oceans Management and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) Assessment Tools Linkage

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

  • Domestic Studies Supporting the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment from Land-based Sources of Pollution

Environment Canada
  • Working Toward Protective Measures for Seabirds in the Marine Waters around the Scott Islands

A complete Backgrounder is available outlining the key initiatives by Department

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