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Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network

$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

Associate Scientific Director
Fanny Noisette Fanny Noisette

Associate Scientific Director
Brent Else Brent Else

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

Protecting Canadians from ocean hazards

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 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’s Modular Ocean Research Infrastructure Initial Development and Demonstration (MORI IDD) project is an ambitious multi-sector partnership that is addressing Canada’s ocean-going research vessel capacity crisis. It is an alternative pathway to support sophisticated vessel-based ocean research, this concept is 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.
  • Coastal resilience is a major focus for MEOPAR with its Response Core focused on activities aimed at supporting coastal risk reduction by bridging research and practice. It supports the Resilient-C platform, a tool to facilitate sharing knowledge, experience, and resources between coastal communities for risk reduction. The National Forum on Coastal Community Resilience provided a unique opportunity for people living in communities on all of Canada’s coasts to engage with each other and to share approaches and ideas for adapting to sea-level rise and coastal flooding, bringing together coastal communities and other key organizations from across the country. A tool supported by MEOPAR’s Knowledge Mobilization Fund called CHERP (Canadian Household Emergency Response and Preparedness) App helps local residents learn about and prepare for hazards they may face.
  • MEOPAR has an important role connecting partners across Canada, from inside and outside academia, to advance research. MEOPAR’s Observation, Prediction and Response Cores joined with Réseau Québec Maritime (RQM) for the Tracer Release Experiment (TReX), a multisectoral, multidisciplinary project in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This “research aggregator” connects diverse groups and approaches—from academia to communities—as well as partners from the Government of Canada. MEOPAR has also worked closely with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to establish and fund the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS), an open-access national system to share high-quality data and information on the state of our coasts and oceans. This initiative has brought together Centres of Excellence and universities across the country, and was supported by investments from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

Connect with Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network


December 20, 2021