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Delivering clean oceans and healthy coasts with an expanded Oceans Protection Plan

Taslima Jamal

Canadians are proud of our oceans. With the longest coastline in the world, marine and coastal areas are essential to our livelihoods and our economy right across the country. Since it was launched in 2016, the Oceans Protection Plan has strengthened protections for our coasts and wildlife, improved marine traffic and incident management, and advanced partnerships with Indigenous communities.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the next phase of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. With the new investment of $2 billion over nine years, announced in Budget 2022, Canada will establish 15 new measures to expand ocean protection initiatives to more regions and better proactively combat emerging threats to marine safety, while continuing or expanding 39 existing initiatives. This new funding is in addition to the $1.5 billion initially announced in 2016 and brings the total invested in support of the plan to $3.5 billion.

The renewed and expanded plan will help make further progress to:

  • Enhance the protection and restoration of vulnerable marine ecosystems and wildlife;
  • Improve the efficiency, safety, and sustainability of Canada’s marine supply chains and mitigate their impacts on the environment, including by advancing research on marine pollution, ecosystems, and wildlife;
  • Better manage marine traffic navigation off our coasts and marine incidents of all types; and
  • Advance partnerships and training opportunities for Indigenous and coastal communities to incorporate their expertise and experiences in various aspects of marine safety and ecosystem protection.

The renewed and expanded plan builds on the first, successful iteration, which delivered real results on key promises across the country. For example, since 2016, the government re-opened important incident response centers, like the Canadian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre St. John’s and the new permanent station in Victoria. We also took action to protect species at risk, including the Southern Resident Killer Whale and funded initiatives to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale.

The Oceans Protection Plan is a Canadian success story. When Indigenous Peoples, industry, communities, academia, and government work together to protect our environment, grow our economy, and support good jobs across the country, we deliver real results. A renewed and expanded Oceans Protection Plan will keep our oceans and coasts healthy, advance reconciliation, and build a clean future for our children and grandchildren.

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