Number of partners
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Former President and CEO, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Port authorities, municipalities, and the oil and gas sector are among those needing accurate and rapid assessments of marine conditions, both for routine operations and emergencies. They also require improved tools to anticipate and plan for the effects of climate change over the coming decades. Canada’s long coastline, dispersed emergency response assets and economic dependence on oceans make the country particularly vulnerable to extremes and emergencies in the marine environment. A 2013 report by the Council of Canadian Academies affirmed Canada’s historical strength in ocean science, but noted that capacity is dispersed geographically and across a variety of organizations with diverse mandates and priorities. Greater coordination among stakeholders and between scientific disciplines was critical.
The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) facilitates partnerships between academia, government, the insurance industry, the oil and gas sector, the marine transportation sector, ocean technology firms, coastal communities and NGOs to reduce Canada’s vulnerability to marine hazards and emergencies. MEOPAR’s three major goals are to develop and test new technologies and strategies to guide response to existing marine hazards; develop new tools to anticipate, plan and adapt to changing patterns of marine emergencies and extremes of the future; and train qualified personnel with skills in disciplines relevant to risk and response in the marine environment.