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Maritime information system pilot project coming to Nunatsiavut

Nain — Courtesy of the Nunatsiavut Government
Nain — Courtesy of the Nunatsiavut Government - Contributed

Feds contributing just over $1.3 million

NAIN, N.L. —

Development of a local, web-based maritime information system in Nain will be bolstered by $1.3 million federal government cash infusion.

Labrador MP Yvonne Jones was in the community Aug. 25 to announce just over $1.3 million to develop the system through the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness, part of the federal Oceans Protection Plan.

“Our coastal communities share ties to Canada's oceans that span generations,” Jones said in a release. “Growing up in NL, I know how important coasts and waterways are to our communities, economies, and culture.”

The Nunatsiavut Government (NG)  will receive $1 million to participate in a pilot project to develop, test, and evaluate this new maritime information system. An additional $327,000 will be used to collect and analyze water property data.

Jones called the funding announcement significant. In order to better protect the Labrador coast, local decision-making has to be informed by the best information possible, she said.

The pilot system was launched in May and displays a range of information, including data on vessel traffic, weather, and marine protected areas.

NG is one of 10 Indigenous organizations from across Canada participating in the pilot project. The organizations have been tasked to test the system in various environments, provide feedback, and apply their local knowledge toward further development and improvement.

On July 23, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced all Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness pilot projects will operate until March 2022.

According to a release from the federal government, NG will use the funding to install a series of land-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) towers to provide enhanced monitoring of marine traffic within the marine zone and adjacent waters.

The funding will allow the purchase of AIS transmitters that can be carried by small boats, snowmobiles, and search and rescue teams to enhance safety.

The project is part of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, a national strategy announced in 2016 by the federal government.

evan.careen@thelabradorvoice.ca

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