Four Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS) projects will be receiving $3 million funding over two years.

This funding will support the University of Victoria, St. Lawrence Global Observatory, and Dalhousie University in their work to manage and publicly share a range of ocean information and contribute to a better understanding of Canada’s ocean ecosystems.

“Canada has the longest coastline in the world,” said Bernadette Jordan, minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “Our oceans define us—they are the heartbeat and backbone of our coastal communities.”

“It is essential that we have a strong system to study our marine ecosystems and guide our decisions toward healthy, prosperous oceans,” added Jordan. “This improved ocean monitoring system will help Canada make more sustainable and productive decisions on ocean related activities and propel us forward as a global leader in the emerging blue economy.”

Each recipient represents one of CIOOS’ three regional associations with the University of Victoria receiving $820,000 for the Pacific region; St. Lawrence Global Observatory receiving $1,020,000 for the St. Lawrence region; and Dalhousie University receiving $820,000 for the Atlantic region.

“The University of Victoria is proud to renew its hosting of the CIOOS Pacific Regional Association for a second phase,” said Denis D’Amours, executive director of CIOOS Pacific at the University of Victoria. “In its initial phase, CIOOS Pacific demonstrated the feasibility of making ocean observation data from various sources, such as Ocean Networks Canada and the Hakai Institute, accessible on an open access web-based system.

“In this renewed phase, CIOOS Pacific will expand its membership with data providers and data users from First Nations, academia and industry,” added D’Amours. “[It will also] continue to develop the system in response to the needs of its end-users.”

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These investments from the Government of Canada will support the recipients’ existing regional data sources and accelerate the user engagement with data, resulting in improved regional understanding of ocean ecosystems. Together, they will facilitate access to existing resources, new information, and technology. They will also make data accessible and useable for the benefit of all.

“As digital innovation continues to drive the blue economy, access to ocean observation data is critical for Canadians to realize opportunities which bolster the safety, sustainability, and economic value of our oceans,” said Shayla Fitzsimmons, executive director of CIOOS Atlantic at Dalhousie University.

“CIOOS Atlantic is proud to partner with world-class researchers and centres of expertise in ocean science to promote greater access to such data, and has made significant strides in meeting the unique needs of data collectors and users in the Atlantic region,” added Fitzsimmons. “We’re excited to continue this important work to make data available for the benefit of all.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada shares CIOOS’ vision of realizing a fully integrated and sustained online ocean observing system by maximizing access to data and information.

This funding enables CIOOS and its data users and providers—including government, Indigenous communities, industries, coastal communities, non-governmental organizations, academia—to use and share diverse ocean data.

Through this national system, Canada can improve its ocean data and information sharing, leading to better decisions for ocean conservation.

Join Water Canada for its newest online discussion series: The Keys to a Blue Economy. This four-part series focuses on how Canada should define its blue economy and all of the key elements that will ensure a strong national water sector. Learn more here

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