Mariners will be safer and scientists here will be able to do more marine research with data from an advanced inshore weather buoy at Herring Cove, thanks to provincial and federal support.

"The ocean plays an important role in the lives of Nova Scotians, and in the growth of our economy," said Graham Steele, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. "This smart buoy will have significant benefits for many of our province's ocean-related industries, ranging from commercial shipping to tourism."

Data transmitted from the SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy will help generate real time, high-resolution weather and wave forecasting for the Halifax Port Authority that will help keep mariners safe. The data will also be used for education and scientific research.

"Helping shippers with precise weather and wave conditions will help keep mariners safe while increasing productivity, reducing costs, and moving goods through Atlantic ports more effectively," said Peter MacKay, Minister for National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, on behalf of Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Atlantic Gateway. "Our government remains committed to our ongoing work with provincial and private-sector partners to implement the Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor Strategy, which will help position Atlantic Canada as a key entry point into North America."

The estimated project cost is $366,000, with the federal government contributing up to $171,000 under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program and the province providing $150,000. The Atlantic Pilotage Authority and the Halifax Port Authority will fund annual operating and maintenance costs, estimated at $120,000 per year, for 10 years.

Nova Scotia's growing ocean technology sector will be able to use research from the buoy data to develop and sell new, innovative products and services, allowing them to grow and create good jobs. With more than 200 companies in communities throughout the province, and hundreds of marine researchers, Nova Scotia is quickly becoming an international leader in this sector. Ocean technology companies account for 20 per cent of all research and development by Nova Scotia businesses.

"The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy project is a natural fit for Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI)," said Jim Hanlon, CEO of HMRI. "As a facilitator of collaboration between industry, government agencies, and academic researchers, we are excited to see scientific research being applied to real world challenges faced by marine industries and are looking forward to the educational and research opportunities that this project will create."

The project is the result of a 10-year effort by the Canadian Marine Pilots' Association and is possible through in-kind funding partners Halifax Marine Research Institute, the Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR), and the Canadian Coast Guard.

"The Canadian Marine Pilots' Association is very pleased to see the realization of the SmartATLANTIC Inshore Weather Buoy Network, of which the Herring Cove Buoy is the first to receive funding," said Capt. Andrew Rae, vice-president Atlantic of the association. "We sincerely appreciate the strong support this project has received."

The three-metre Ocean Data Acquisition System buoy will be manufactured in Canada by AXYS Technologies and deployed by the Canadian Coast Guard this fall.


Article courtsey of: The Department of Economic and Rural Development & Tourism´╗┐