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2021 marks the last year of the federally $1.5B funded, nation-wide Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). Dianne Sanford and Angela Kroning, from the SCCA Marine Committee, attended the 7th Pacific Dialogue Forum held virtually Feb 17-19th to learn of the progress made on the initiatives relating to the creation of a world-leading marine safety program and to the restoration and protection of marine ecosystems.

They were able to attend and ask questions at 16 sessions, ranging from the collection of marine bird and shorelines baseline data in northern BC and the reducing threats to marine mammals, to the effects of climate change on coastal hazards and some nature-based solutions. On the second day, the federal government provided examples of successful initiatives established with Indigenous partnerships (one of the four pillars of the OPP) such as the pilot Safe Distance Offshore Shipping Program co-chaired between Haida Gwaii and Transport Canada. The last day focused on responsive planning for oil spills, specifically on the advances in oil spill science nationally and internationally. Participants were also invited to provide input in Environment & Climate Change Canada’s environmental emergency policy involving a ship-source oil spill.

Summaries, evaluations, and conclusions reached by the attendees will be detailed in an upcoming report later in March.

Information on OPP accomplishments to date: https://tc.canada.ca/en/initiatives/oceans-protection-plan/report-canadians-investing-our-coasts-through-oceans-protection-plan