Canada has set aside more than $80 million to fund projects that will help protect marine and coastal areas from potential oil spills.
A part of the funding program, a new $45.5 million research program will be established to boost “collaboration among the best researchers across the country and around the world.”
The Multi-Partner Research Initiative will include a $10 million-a-year research fund to bring scientists together to improve our collective understanding of how oil spills behave, how best to clean and contain them, and how to best minimize their environmental impacts.
The funding also includes $16.8 million to support oil spill research so that we can better understand how oil behaves and degrades in different conditions, including cold water.
As part of this investment, Canada’s Centre of Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will increase its research capacity with more scientists and specialized equipment. Funding will also go to external researchers across the country to study how various oil contaminants affect fish and other aquatic organisms.
And finally, $17.7 million will go towards enhancing ocean models of winds, waves and currents, so that emergency responders can accurately track spills and predict their path. Enhanced ocean modeling will also support safe marine navigation and help prevent spills from happening.
These investments in ocean modeling, oil spill behavior, biological effects, containment and cleaning techniques will ensure that Canada has both the capability and capacity to provide the best scientific advice and tools to prevent, and respond to, oil spills.