About Clear Seas:
Supporting Sustainable Marine Shipping
Who We Are
Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping is an independent not-for-profit research centre that supports safe and sustainable marine shipping in Canada.
Clear Seas was established in 2014 after extensive discussions among government, industry, environmental organizations, Indigenous peoples and coastal communities revealed a need for impartial information about the Canadian marine shipping industry.
What We Do
RESEARCH • ENGAGE • INFORM
Clear Seas provides impartial information on marine shipping in Canada to policy makers and the public. Our mandate is to initiate and interpret research, analyze policies, identify best practices, share information and facilitate dialogue.
Our research focuses on the human, environmental and economic impacts of marine shipping. That includes practices for safe handling of bulk commodities at marine terminals, impacts of oil and liquid natural gas shipping, spill prevention and response, impacts on coastal and Indigenous communities, and much more.
We collaborate with Indigenous groups, stakeholders and experts to identify knowledge gaps, share results of existing studies, and facilitate new research to ensure decision makers have access to accurate, up-to-date information.
Indigenous Relations & Participation
Clear Seas recognizes the unique place of Indigenous peoples – including First Nations, Inuit and Métis – in Canada, which affords them special rights, as protected under Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution and as recognized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This may include titles or rights and associated stewardship over their territories, including marine areas.
Accordingly, Clear Seas strives to actively involve Indigenous communities in carrying out its mission concerning research and knowledge sharing on safe and sustainable marine shipping in Canada. In particular, Clear Seas seeks to:
- Create awareness among indigenous communities of Clear Seas’ mission and activities;
- Learn about Indigenous communities’ perspectives on marine shipping issues;
- Identify areas where Clear Seas can contribute to addressing marine shipping issues using research capacity, communication, and convening power;
- Appropriately apply traditional knowledge* to Clear Seas’ research;
- Collaborate with Indigenous communities to lead or participate in research activities, and also provide employment and business opportunities; and
- Build respectful relationships between Clear Seas and Indigenous communities.
*Traditional knowledge is a body of knowledge specific to Indigenous people. It comes from their cultural heritage, traditional lifestyles and the strong relationship they cultivate with the natural environment. Traditional knowledge includes deep understanding and insights into traditional subsistence and resource harvesting practices as well as extensive knowledge of environmentally sensitive and culturally significant coastal areas.
Board of Directors
How We Operate
Clear Seas received seed funding in 2015 through equal contributions of $3.7 million from the Government of Canada (Transport Canada), the Government of Alberta (Alberta Energy) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Our funders saw the need for an independent organization that would be a source of objective information on issues related to marine shipping in Canada. In 2020, Clear Seas received $1 million in additional funding from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
As an independent research centre, Clear Seas operates at arm’s length from our funders. Our research agenda is defined internally in response to current issues, reviewed by our research advisory committee, and approved by our board of directors.
Our board of directors is composed of scientists, community leaders, engineers and industry executives with decades of experience investigating human, environmental and economic issues related to our oceans, coastlines and waterways.
All our reports and findings are available to the public here at clearseas.org.