On-Line Weather and Wave Forecasting Tool Launched at Port Saint John

The Governments of Canada and New Brunswick and the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Consortium celebrate the completion of the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy project

SAINT JOHN (NB) – Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, along with the Honourable Roger Melanson, New Brunswick Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, today announced the launch of the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy website. The weather buoy and on-line weather and wave forecasting tool technology will provide the
marine transportation community, commercial fishers, recreational boaters, meteorologists, researchers and scientists with online access to real-time weather and directional wave information in the Bay of

Amec Foster Wheeler will use the meteorological and oceanographic information collected by the buoy to generate high-resolution weather, wind and sea state forecasts, which will help keep mariners safe while increasing productivity and reducing the cost of moving goods through Port Saint John, Canaport LNG, Irving Canaport and other facilities.

With accurate data, shipping companies will have additional information to safely navigate their vessels through the waterways leading into Port Saint John. This technology improves the port’s reliability, and supports better planning and more efficient operations by shippers and others using it.

The SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy is an ODAS buoy (Ocean Data Acquisition System) manufactured in Canada by AXYS Technologies and is the first buoy of its kind to be deployed in the Bay of Fundy. It is an important new weather forecasting tool and platform for scientific research/education.

The public is now able to access the weather forecasts free of charge by visiting www.smartatlantic.ca/saintjohn, a website hosted by Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Centre for Applied Ocean Technology.

Quick Facts

  • The total project cost is approximately $417,000. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $185,000 through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund.
  • Other project partners include: the Province of New Brunswick (contributing $91,000), the Saint John Port Authority (contributing $91,000), Amec Foster Wheeler (providing in-kind services of $30,000), Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association (providing in-kind services of $8,000), and the Canadian Coast Guard (providing in-kind services of $12,000).
  • The buoy is owned by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), based at Dalhousie University. The annual operating and maintenance costs will be equally funded by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Canaport LNG, Irving Oil and the Saint John Port Authority. The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) will operate the buoy, with technical support provided by Amec Foster Wheeler and the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology at the Marine Institute at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • In 2014, Port Saint John handled 834 vessels and 23.94 million tonnes of cargo and, over the past five years, has welcomed over one million cruise ship passengers.
  • Saint John marine pilots, employed by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, carry out about 1,800 transfers annually.
  • This buoy technology will increase the security, safety and efficiency of the shipping industry, as well as increase marine traffic and trade through Port Saint John, an important Atlantic Gateway port.


“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in this smart technology that will improve safety, reduce costs, and increase the efficiency of Port Saint John, while supporting Canada’s future economic growth. By providing the shipping community and other users with highly valuable real-time information to more accurately forecast wind, wave and ocean currents in the Bay of Fundy, this weather buoy will enhance navigation safety and productivity.”

Rodney Weston
Member of Parliament for Saint John

“The SmartATLANTIC Saint John Buoy project is a great example of how innovation and technology can help drive economic growth in our province. The Government of New Brunswick is proud to be a contributing partner in this project which will further solidify Port Saint John’s reputation as a gateway to global markets.”

The Honourable Roger Melanson
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, New Brunswick

“Risk management is practised daily in all segments of the marine industry, and the Saint John SmartATLANTIC Buoy has significantly enhanced the risk management model within the Port. Whether you are a commercial fisherman, or the Master of a cruise ship, bulk carrier, container ship, or tanker, we now have modern tools to assist with critical decisions that directly impact safety and operational efficiency.”

Captain Chris Hall
Vice President Operations & Harbour Master, Port Saint John

“Ensuring the safety of our pilots and pilot boat crews during pilot transfer operations is a high priority at the APA. The data provided by the SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy will assist us in meeting this safety objective.”

Captain Anthony McGuinness
CEO, Atlantic Pilotage Authority

“For more than 50 years, Irving Oil has relied on marine transportation to serve the energy needs of our customers. Marine safety is paramount to our business and the SmartATLANTIC buoy project is a meaningful enhancement to the world-class marine tanker safety system that exists in the Bay of Fundy.”

Mark Sherman
Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Irving Oil

“The real time data, which this SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy will provide of sea conditions, will improve the current sea state forecast accuracy, making for greater efficiency in the berthing manoeuvers of the LNG ships calling at our Terminal.”

Fraser Forsythe
Security & Environmental Manager, Canaport LNG

“For the first time in the Bay of Fundy, real-time high-resolution weather and wave forecasting is available online to mariners, fishers, recreational boaters, and others. The SmartATLANTIC Saint John buoy project is a perfect fit for IORE – this collaboration between industry and researchers will enhance not only the safety and efficiency of port operations, but also Canada’s oceanographic and meteorological research capabilities.”

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

Associated Links

Media contacts:

Zach Segal
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
(613) 991-0700
Véronique Taylor
Director of Communications
Finance & Transportation and Infrastructure
Province of New Brunswick
(506) 453-4138
Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
(613) 993-0055
Samantha Robinson
Public Affairs, Irving Oil
(506) 650-4947
Paula Copeland, PPM®
Manager of Corporate Communications & Governance, Port Saint John
(506) 636-4674
Cell: (506) 650-5288
Captain Andrew Rae
Vice President, Atlantic
Canadian Marine Pilots Association
(902) 497-9253

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