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Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network - MEOPAR

$53.5 million for 2012-23
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Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Scientific Director
Douglas Wallace Douglas Wallace

Board chair
Karen Dodds Karen Dodds
Former Assistant Deputy Minister, Science & Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Protecting Canadians from ocean hazards

The opportunity

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.

How MEOPAR is seizing the opportunity

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 not-for-profits to reduce Canada’s vulnerability to marine hazards and emergencies. MEOPAR funds leading-edge, multidisciplinary and collaborative research; trains the next generation of marine professionals; and connects with partners, stakeholders and end users to anticipate, plan and adapt to the opportunities and challenges of a changing ocean environment.

Among the results

  • MEOPAR has worked closely with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to establish and fund the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS), a national collaboration to share high-quality data and information on the state of our coasts and oceans. CIOOS is an open-access national system that brings together the various elements of ocean observation in Canada, facilitating access to existing resources, new information and technology and making data discoverable. This initiative has brought together Centres of Excellence and universities across the country, and was supported by investments from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation investments.
  • MEOPAR’s Modular Ocean Research Infrastructure Initial Development and Demonstration (MORI IDD) project is an ambitious multi-sector partnership that will address Canada’s ocean-going research vessel capacity crisis. An alternative pathway to support sophisticated vessel-based ocean research, this concept will potentially be more flexible, economical, and scalable than construction or purchase of a new fleet of specialized research vessels. MORI is an interoperable, modular system of self-contained transportable laboratories and other research infrastructure that can be deployed in different combinations, on a diverse array of non-specialized vessels with minimal customization.
  • MEOPAR’s Observation, Prediction and Response Cores are playing a significant role in Tracer Release Experiment (TReX), a multisectoral, multidisciplinary project in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A collaboration with Réseau Québec Maritime, TReX is envisioned as a “research aggregator” that connects diverse groups and approaches—from academia to communities—as well as partners from Government of Canada researchers and programs like Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Canadian Operational Networks of Coupled Environmental PredicTion Systems (CONCEPTS), as well as provincial agencies and other major research centres.

Connect with MEOPAR


December 20, 2021
September 21, 2020
March 23, 2020
September 16, 2019
Watch Video
Research profile: Dr. Max Liboiron
July 14, 2016
Watch Video
Marine Traffic and Noise in the Salish Sea
May 9, 2016
Watch Video
Irving Shipbuilding and MEOPAR Award $1.8 million to Ocean Research
February 15, 2016