03/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/14/2019 09:40
March 14, 2019
Saint John, New Brunswick - Canada's coasts are home to vitally important fisheries and marine ecosystems. They provide valuable tourism and recreational opportunities, while creating a critical connection between land and sea that enables trade between Canada and distant ports through safe and responsible shipping. They support the livelihood, well-being and cultural heritage of numerous Indigenous and coastal communities.
To provide even greater opportunities for Canadians today while protecting our coasts for the heirs of tomorrow, we need a long-term scientific outlook supported by wide-ranging coastal environmental baseline data. This information will enable scientists to identify changes in our coastal environments and long-term impacts of human activities, such as shoreline development and marine transportation.
To help achieve these goals, the Member of Parliament for Saint John - Rothesay, New Brunswick, Wayne Long, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced today in Saint John, New Brunswick, that the Government of Canada is investing an additional $1.1 million in five marine environmental data collection projects in the Port of Saint John through the Coastal Environmental Baseline Program, which is part of Canada's Oceans Protection Plan.
These projects, which fall under the $50.8 million Coastal Environmental Baseline Program, will support the advancement of coastal data collection projects and involve close collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists, Indigenous and coastal communities, and other local partners. Participating groups will gather comprehensive data that will help detect changes in our marine environment over time.
The four organizations receiving funding announced today include Atlantic Coastal Action Program Saint John, Nature NB, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and North Shore Micmac District Council - Anqotum Resource Management.
Under this initiative, the recipients will gather data on a variety of factors to better track the health of the ecosystem in the Port of Saint John. The projects will look at water quality in nearshore areas, harbour seal numbers and distribution, the state of coastal and tidal wetlands, invasive parasites in threatened migratory fish, shorebird and seabird abundance and distribution (as indicators of the state of the marine environment) and environmental contaminants resulting from human activities.
Once collected, this baseline data will be critically important to our understanding of marine ecosystems and essential to our ability to protect marine species and habitats into the future. The data will also be used to inform decisions that could impact on sensitive marine environments.