Incorporating technologies that have positioned Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean technology sector on the international stage, Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Humber Arm will use a $250,000 contribution from the Provincial Government to advance the Smart Basin initiative.

Smart Basin builds on elements of SmartBay in Placentia Bay and other marine observation networks elsewhere in Canada and internationally. The goal of the Smart Basin initiative is to allow users of the Humber Arm and Bay of Islands to navigate the waterways which are used by an active fishery, cruise and shipping industries, as well as recreational boaters.

“Smart Basin is an exciting initiative that supports the development of economic, business, and educational opportunities for the region,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. “By being able to develop an ocean observation system that provides users of the Humber Basin with up-to-date information, stakeholders will be able to make better decisions regarding the use, management and conservation of the area’s land and marine environments. It is information that supports the social and economic development of the Humber Valley and Bay of Islands regions.”

This funding supports the development of an implementation strategy that will lead to a network of aquatic, coastal and land-based sensors designed to, among other things digitally map the seabed and shoreline; monitor localized weather; and improve forecasting capabilities.

“This project will benefit the entire Corner Brook, Bay of Islands and Humber Valley regions,” said the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board and MHA for Humber East. “In addition to creating safer waterways, Smart Basin will provide valuable information to effectively manage and develop the region’s resources and assets in an environmentally conscious manner. The coming together of so many stakeholders in the development of this project reflects the value and the importance of Smart Basin.”

In addition to the Provincial Government, partners in the project include Grenfell Campus, Memorial University; Marine Institute; Western School District; Geospatial Research Facility, College of the North Atlantic; Corner Brook Port Corporation; and the private sector.

“I am delighted to see this investment by the Provincial Government into the Smart Basin initiative,” said Vaughn Granter, MHA for Humber West. “This funding will assist the ACAP Humber Arm and its partners in utilizing the latest technology in developing and implementing strategies that support the planned growth and development of the Humber Arm for its many users.”

ACAP Humber Arm is a not-for-profit organization serving the Bay of Islands and Humber Valley marine and coastal regions. The association is governed by a volunteer board of directors representing a diverse range of stakeholders from the fields of academia, government, industry, and economic and community development.

“Through extensive consultations we have identified the information needs of local coastal users,” said Sheldon Peddle, Executive Director of ACAP Humber Arm. “Through the support of the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development and in collaboration with a wide range of partners we can now begin addressing those information needs. With more than 20 years of service to our local communities, the Smart Basin initiative is a natural next step for our organization to advance, through environmental programs, the social and economic growth of our region.”

Smart Basin will consolidate existing resources of environmental data into a single database that will allow information to be more readily visualized, interpreted, and shared.

Several technology demonstration projects aimed at encouraging youth participation will be implemented including the installation of weather stations in schools throughout the Western School District and an expansion of the successful Trading Books for Boats marine science program.

“This initiative aligns with goals outlined in the Provincial Government’s Oceans of Opportunity strategy,” said Minister Hutchings. “From the public, private and academic partnerships to the enhanced educational component for our youth, Smart Basin will further strengthen Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean technology sector.”

This project is supported through Oceans of Opportunity: Newfoundland and Labrador’s Ocean Technology Strategy. Administered by the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, the five-year strategy designed to capitalize on opportunities and expand the local ocean technology sector.

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Media contact:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
scottbarfoot@gov.nl.ca