Identifying sensitive marine ecosystems and wildlife

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening its protection and conservation of marine and coastal wildlife. To support better decision-making during marine incidents, Environment and Climate Change Canada is working to address longstanding information gaps relating to wildlife, ecosystems, and environmental threats.

In the first phase of the Oceans Protection Plan, progress was made in collecting and analyzing environmental data in British Columbia through migratory bird monitoring and research, shoreline classification, and assessing contaminants. Based on this information, Indigenous groups, coastal communities, and the Government of Canada have identified priority areas that are highly sensitive and are therefore at greater risk from an environmental incident, like an oil spill.

In the next phase of the Oceans Protection Plan, Environment and Climate Change Canada will continue adding to its environmental information database to support evidence-based decisions during marine emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. The department will expand its collection of data on environmentally sensitive ecosystems beyond British Columbia to other areas with limited environmental data and a higher risk of shipping-related incidents.

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