New Weather and Wave Forecasting Technology Will Help Keep Mariners Safe

The Governments of Canada and New Brunswick and partners launch the SmartATLANTIC buoy project in Saint John

SAINT JOHN (NB) – Today, Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, the Honourable Trevor Holder, Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, on behalf of the Honourable Claude Williams, New Brunswick Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, along with other project partners, announced funding for the SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy project to help improve the efficiency, safety and environmental stewardship of marine transportation in the Bay of Fundy.

In line with measures already taken to strengthen Canada’s tanker safety system, this project will help to further modernize Canada’s marine navigation system by providing accurate and real-time meteorological/hydrological data that will be used to produce high-resolution forecasts of weather and sea conditions, and for scientific research. The SmartATLANTIC buoy will also help minimize the potential for incidents, reduce the risk of an oil spill, and help support the region’s ship-based trade in energy products such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petroleum products.

The marine transportation community, commercial fishers, recreational boaters and researchers will be able to access this highly valuable, real-time information to more accurately forecast wind, wave and ocean currents. It will not only help improve safe navigation and environmental protection, but it will also maximize the efficiency of commercial traffic using Port Saint John, and lower costs for the marine industry in the area.

Quick Facts

  • Transport Canada will contribute up to $185,000 under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund. The total project cost is approximately $417,000.
  • The other project partners include: the Province of New Brunswick (contributing $91,000), the Saint John Port Authority (contributing $91,000), AMEC Environment & Infrastructure (providing in-kind services of $30,000), Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association (providing in-kind services of $8,000), and the Canada Coast Guard (providing in-kind services of $12,000).
  • The Buoy will be owned by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE).
  • The annual operating and maintenance costs of the project will be equally covered by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Canaport LNG, Irving Oil, and the Saint John Port Authority. Technical support will be provided by AMEC Environment & Infrastructure and the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology at the Marine Institute at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • The Saint John Harbour and the Bay of Fundy area is one of the top four tanker traffic zones in the country. In 2013, Port Saint John handled 27.6 million tonnes of cargo; and over the past five years, Saint John has welcomed almost one million cruise ship passengers.


“By allowing better access to weather forecasts, this buoy technology will increase the safety and the efficiency of our shipping industry, as well as increase marine traffic and trade through the Saint John Gateway, an important Atlantic Gateway port.”

Rodney Weston
Member of Parliament for Saint John

“Advancements which promote and improve activities at the port are an important step forward for our province. We are being proactive with this initiative as traffic at the port is expected to increase significantly as new opportunities open up such as the proposed Energy East Pipeline.”

The Honourable Trevor Holder
Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture

“On behalf of our Board of Directors we are pleased to contribute to this technological advancement. It is significant that our partners in industry and government are together enhancing marine operations at Port Saint John. Tools such as the SmartATLANTIC Weather Buoy not only reduce risk in marine operations but also strengthen our collective commitment to safe and efficient practices.”

Jim Quinn
President and CEO, Port Saint John

“Safety is the marine pilots’ number 1 priority – SmartATLANTIC is a huge step in the right direction. We sincerely thank The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, the Province of New Brunswick and the Saint John Port Authority for funding the purchase of the buoy.”

Captain Andrew Rae
Vice President, Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association,
and lead proponent for SmartATLANTIC Saint John Buoy Proposal

“The SmartATLANTIC Saint John Buoy is a natural fit for I.O.R.E. As a facilitator of collaboration between industry, government agencies, and academic researchers, we’re excited to bring the benefits of scientific research to the real world challenges faced by New Brunswick’s marine community.”

Jim Hanlon
CEO, Institute for Ocean Research Enterprises (IORE)

Associated Links

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Media contacts:

Jana Régimbal
Press Secretary
Minister of Transport
(613) 991-0700
Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
(613) 993-0055

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