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Research Project

Climate Change Vulnerability of the Canadian Maritime Environment

In This Report, You’ll Learn About

  • The different climate hazards that affect Canadian waterways and their users, and how this will affect the maritime industry and how they deliver services
  • The strategies and best practices that can help Canada’s maritime sector adapt to climate change
  • How other maritime countries like the United States, Norway and the Netherlands are adapting to climate change

Project Summary

Clear Seas worked with its research partner Dillon Consulting Ltd. to provide an overview of the threat climate change poses to Canada’s maritime environment and to identify strategies to help adapt to these challenges. A series of tools and frameworks designed to help characterize these threats has been created as part of the project and acts as an important resource for the people and organizations that rely on Canada’s oceans and waterways to thrive and survive. The study also presents real-world perspectives and maps out practical adaptation strategies to manage the effects of a changing climate.

In the face of climate change, the information and findings captured in this report will help support pro-active decision-making and planning efforts for safe and sustainable waterways undertaken by the Canadian Coast Guard and other governmental departments, port authorities, industry stakeholders, Indigenous and coastal communities, and others.

Key Takeaway

This project provides important context to help understand the extent of the challenges climate change poses to the Canadian maritime environment as well as to the organizations responsible for delivering maritime services. By identifying key threats and adaptation strategies, this analysis allows for the development of effective risk mitigation plans, as well as for informed decisions and investments in relation to climate change. This will help ensure the sustainability and safety of marine trade and other maritime activities in Canadian waters and beyond.

Statements & Quotations

“We are proud to support the work of the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping and all partners involved in addressing climate change. Understanding climate change threats and adaptation strategies are key to preparing for the future of our operations. This report will help inform our continued commitment to transitioning to low-carbon, climate resilient, and green operations.”

– Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard

“Strategies should be based on location-specific risk and vulnerability assessments: PIANC concludes there is no one-size-fits-all solution without the possibility of maladaptation. Adaptation pathways help ensure cost-effective delivery.”

– Jan Brooke, World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC)

“Indigenous Peoples are severely impacted by climate change because they look to the ocean for their food and livelihood and a deep connection to the natural environment is an integral part of their culture. The Traditional Knowledge held by Indigenous Peoples also presents valuable potential solutions to understand and adapt to the changing climate.”

– Paul Blomerus, Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping

Presentation of Results

A summary presentation of the project and its key findings can be downloaded here.

Research Team

Dave Creber

Project Advisor and Senior Technical Specialist, Dillon Consulting Ltd.

Emily Davis

Project Manager and Technical Specialist, Dillon Consulting Ltd.

Laura Eldridge

Technical Specialist, Dillon Consulting Ltd.

Rebecca Eldridge

Technical Specialist, Dillon Consulting Ltd.

Clear Seas team member Jennifer Steele

Jennifer Steele

Manager of Research and Knowledge Mobilization, Clear Seas

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