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New weather and wave forecasting technology will help keep mariners safe

The Governments of Canada and New Brunswick and partners launch the SmartATLANTIC buoy project in Saint John


August 15, 2014            Saint John, New Brunswick                    Transport Canada


Today, Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, the Honourable Trevor Holder, Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, on behalf of the Honourable Claude Williams, New Brunswick Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, along with other project partners,announced funding for the 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 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 maximize the efficiency of commercial traffic using Port Saint John, and lower costs for the marine industry in the area.



Quick Facts


  • 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.





“By allowing better access to weather forecasts, this buoy technology willincrease the safety and the efficiency of our shipping industry, as well as increase marine traffic and trade through the Saint John Gateway, an important Atlantic Gateway port.”

Rodney Weston
Member of Parliament for Saint John


“Advancements which promote and improve activities at the port are an important step forward for our province. We are being proactive with this initiative as traffic at the port is expected to increase significantly as new opportunities open up such as the proposed Energy East Pipeline.”
The Honourable Trevor Holder
Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture


“On behalf of our Board of Directors we are pleased to contribute to this technological advancement. It is significant that our partners in industry and government are together enhancing marine operations at Port Saint John. Tools such as the SmartATLANTIC Weather Buoy not only reduce risk in marine operations but also strengthen our collective commitment to safe and efficient practices.”

Jim Quinn

President and CEO, Port Saint John


“Safety is the marine pilots’ number 1 priority – SmartATLANTIC is a huge step in the right direction. We sincerely thank The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, the Province of New Brunswick and the Saint John Port Authority for funding the purchase of the buoy.”

Captain Andrew Rae

Vice President, Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association,

 and lead proponent for SmartATLANTIC Saint John Buoy Proposal


“The SmartATLANTIC Saint John Buoy is a natural fit for I.O.R.E. As a facilitator of collaboration between industry, government agencies, and academic researchers, we’re excited to bring the benefits of scientific research to the real world challenges faced by New Brunswick’s marine community.”

Jim Hanlon

CEO, Institute for Ocean Research Enterprises (IORE)



Associated Links



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Jana Régimbal

Press Secretary

Minister of Transport

Tel: 613-991-0700


Media Relations

Transport Canada, Ottawa


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iore irving

Ocean Innovation 2013 – Rimouski, QC

Ocean Innovation 2013: Ocean Smart

Monitoring, Data Management and Decision-Making

October 20 – 23, 2013
Hotel Rimouski


Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface. They play a major role in the regulation and functioning of the blue planet. They make up a vital resource for numerous marine and terrestrial ecosystems. For mankind, they are an essential source of food in certain part of the world, as well as a source of fossil energy and of inexhaustible renewable energy. Moreover, they have supported global trade of goods and commodities for several centuries.

Integrating in situ observations, satellite observations and modeling techniques, new technologies have revolutionized several aspects of ocean sciences and provided us with a better understanding of oceans and with better tools to foresee their evolution. Today, a new era is shaping up where new and more precise monitoring technologies will respond to a wider range of needs. We can now access continuous real-time data to describe every aspect of our oceans and to foresee their evolution. The practical application of these technologies is an extension of research, which then becomes operational.

Ocean Innovation 2013 is a joint initiative between Technopole maritime du Québec and the Marine Institute of Memorial University. This edition of the most important event in the Canadian ocean sector will focus on monitoring, data management and decision-making in ocean observation. What are the issues and perspectives? What new outlook do these new technologies and ocean observation systems provide us?

Ocean Innovation 2013 Program at a Glance

Ocean Innovation 2013 Detailed Program

For more information and to register, please visit Ocean Innovation 2013


The A.G. Huntsman Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2013 A.G. Huntsman Award will be presented to Dr. Scott Doney of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (  The award ceremony will take place at 2PM on 28 November 2013 at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  Following the ceremony, Dr. Doney will present a distinguished lecture entitled “Rapid climate change along the West Antarctic Peninsula: Impacts from sea-ice to penguins”.

Dr. Doney will be presented the 2013 Huntsman Award, in the category of biological oceanography and fisheries science, to recognize his fundamental contributions to our understanding of the role of ocean biology in global biochemical cycles and for his analysis of the vulnerability of ocean biological processes to global change, particularly ocean acidification.  His leadership in bringing the community’s intellectual assets to bear on some of the most pressing scientific problems of our time is exceptional.  He is also recognized for his tireless efforts to educate both students of oceanography and the general public on complex issues related to these changes in the global ocean.  Consequently, his intellectual leadership has and will have dramatic implications to our understanding of the future ocean and its ecosystems.

The A.G. Huntsman Award ( was established by the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in 1980 to recognize excellence of research in, and outstanding contribution to, the marine sciences. The award honours those men and women, of any nationality, who have had, and continue to have, a significant influence on the course of marine scientific thought. It is presented annually in one of three categories: marine geosciences, physical/chemical oceanography, and biological oceanography and fisheries science. The award was created to honour the memory of Archibald Gowanlock Huntsman (1883–1972), pioneer Canadian oceanographer and fishery biologist.

2013 A.G Huntsman Award (PDF version)

On July 26, 2013, Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI) had the pleasure of hosting the Honourable Peter MacKay, then Canadian Minister of Defence, and the Honourable Graham Steele, Nova Scotia Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism at the new Dalhousie Ocean Sciences Building, for the announcement of federal and provincial funding of HMRI’s first smart buoy project. HMRI will acquire, deploy and operate a 3 metre inshore weather buoy near Herring Cove, Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association, Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Halifax Port Authority, Canadian Coast Guard, and the Marine Environment Observation Prediction and Response network (MEOPAR).

Following deployment in Autumn 2013, the buoy’s sensors will generate real time measurements used to create high-resolution weather and wave forecasts for the mouth of Halifax Harbour. Data collected by the buoy’s sensors will assist the Atlantic Pilotage Authority and Halifax Port Authority in improving safety and scheduling in the Port of Halifax. This data will also generate educational and scientific opportunities for ocean science and technology students and researchers in Nova Scotia and beyond.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy project is the result of a 10-year effort by the Canadian Marine Pilot’s Association, and HMRI’s ability to facilitate multi-party collaboration in Atlantic Canada’s ocean technology sector. The project is made possible by funding of up to $171,000 from Transport Canada, and funding of $150,000 from the Province of Nova Scotia, as well as in-kind and cash contributions totaling $45,000 provided by AMEC Earth & Environmental, the Canadian Coast Guard, and MEOPAR. Operational funding of approximately $1.2 Million will be provided by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority and Halifax Port Authority during the initial 10 years of deployment.

For additional information on this exciting HMRI project, please contact Jim Hanlon, HMRI’s chief executive officer.


Dalhousie opens Ocean Sciences Building

Congratulations to our member, Dalhousie University, on the grand opening of their new Ocean Sciences Building (DOSB). The ceremony, which took place on June 5, 2012, attracted hundreds of visitors and a number of distinguished guests. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, federal Minister of State for Science and Technology announced a new round of funding through the Leader’s Opportunity Fund from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Dr. Doug Wallace, a major tenant in the building and HMRI’s Scientific Director, received $800,000 to support the creation of his new labs in the building. Dr. Sara Iverson, Scientific Director of the Ocean Tracking Network, unveiled the Network’s newest remotely-controlled wave glider which is being used to track tagged shark and fish species along the Atlantic Coast.

The DOSB will be HMRI’s new headquarters beginning in July and we’re privileged to be located in close proximity to some of the world’s most innovative research programs including; The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR), The Ocean Tracking Network, and Dr. Wallace’s Chair of Excellence in Ocean Science & Technology.