SAINT JOHN, N.B.–The federal government, the province of New Brunswick and several other project partners today announced funding for SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy project to help improve the efficiency, safety and environmental stewardship of marine transportation in the Bay of Fundy.
In line with measures already taken to strengthen Canada’s tanker safety system, this project will help to further modernize Canada’s marine navigation system by providing accurate and real-time meteorological/hydrological data that will be used to produce high-resolution forecasts of weather and sea conditions, and for scientific research. The SmartATLANTIC buoy will also help minimize the potential for incidents, reduce the risk of an oil spill, and help support the region’s ship-based trade in energy products such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petroleum products, the governments announced.
The marine transportation community, commercial fishers, recreational boaters and researchers will be able to access this highly valuable, real-time information to more accurately forecast wind, wave and ocean currents. It will not only help improve safe navigation and environmental protection, but it will also aim to maximize the efficiency of commercial traffic using Port Saint John, and lower costs for the marine industry in the area.
Transport Canada will contribute up to $185,000 under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund. The total project cost is approximately $417,000.
The other project partners include: the Province of New Brunswick (contributing $91,000), the Saint John Port Authority (contributing $91,000), AMEC Environment & Infrastructure (providing in-kind services of $30,000), Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association (providing in-kind services of $8,000), and the Canada Coast Guard (providing in-kind services of $12,000).
The Buoy will be owned by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE).
The annual operating and maintenance costs of the project will be equally covered by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Canaport LNG, Irving Oil, and the Saint John Port Authority. Technical support will be provided by AMEC Environment & Infrastructure and the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology at the Marine Institute at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The Saint John Harbour and the Bay of Fundy area is one of the top four tanker traffic zones in the country.
In 2013, Port Saint John handled 27.6 million tonnes of cargo; and over the past five years, Saint John has welcomed almost one million cruise ship passengers.