Six international organizations will receive more than $4.1 million for research projects that will help improve protocols and decision-making to minimize the environmental impacts of oil spills in Canada.

fThe announcement was made by Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary, on behalf of Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“The Government of Canada is making major investments in scientific research to help protect Canadian waters and coasts from oil spills and other harmful marine incidents,” said Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “Funding awarded to Canadian and international organizations will support vital research and technologies that better enable us to respond to marine incidents and protect our precious ocean ecosystems for generations to come.”

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The recipients that will receive funding include: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; Johns Hopkins University; New Jersey Institute of Technology; SINTEF Ocean; Texas A&M University; and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Projects that will be undertaken by these institutions with the investment from the Government of Canada are part of the $45.5 million Multi-Partner Research Initiative. This initiative was announced in 2018 to leverage collaboration among oil spill experts in Canada and abroad to ensure we have the capability to provide the best scientific advice and tools to respond to oil spills in Canada’s waters.

“Collaboration is key when working to respond to oil spills,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “These new partnerships will lead to more scientific knowledge, innovative response measures, and advanced technologies that will help minimize the impacts of oil spills on our marine and coastal waters. We are working together to keep our oceans and our coasts clean, healthy and safe.”

A total of 35 Canadian and international projects will focus on a wide range of innovative strategies and technologies to aid in oil spill response. Under this initiative, researchers will investigate computer modeling to predict the movement and fate of spilled oil, the use of chemical dispersants and herders, the efficiency of in-situ (or onsite) burning of oil spilled at sea, and the potential of bio-based agents to disperse oil through biodegradation.

The Multi-Partner Research Initiative will support a variety of different but interrelated research projects on alternative response measures for oil spills while facilitating partnerships among the best researchers across Canada and around the world. These collaborative efforts will improve knowledge of how oil spills behave, how best to contain them and clean them up, and how to minimize their environmental impacts.

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