SmartATLANTIC Consortium Deploys First Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy

The Governments of Canada and New Brunswick and the SmartATLANTIC Consortium announce a milestone in the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy project

SAINT JOHN (NB) – An important step forward for users of Port Saint John and the Bay of Fundy was marked on Saturday, March 14, with the deployment of the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy, a technology that provides the marine transportation community, commercial fishers, recreational boaters, meteorologists, researchers and scientists with online access to real-time weather and directional wave information. This is the first buoy of its type to be deployed in the Bay of Fundy supporting port operations, as well as safety of life at sea.

Captain Michel Champagne on the CCGS Sir William Alexander loaded the bright yellow high-tech “smart buoy” at Port Saint John and carefully set it in the water near the pilot boarding station at the entrance to the harbour. The buoy immediately began collecting meteorological and oceanographic information that will be used by Amec Foster Wheeler to generate high-resolution weather, wind and seastate forecasts, which will help keep mariners safe while increasing productivity and reducing the cost of moving goods through Port Saint John, Canaport LNG, Irving Oil and other facilities.

It will also help guide marine pilots, terminal operators and ship masters in the planning and decision-making for scheduling port arrivals, departure times; and loading, discharging cargo. Shipping lines may also use the buoy to reduce GHG ship emissions and cut fuel consumption by reducing sailing speed to arrive at the pilot boarding station, when it’s safe for the marine pilot to be transferred to the vessel.

The SmartATLANTIC Saint John Inshore Weather Buoy is an ODAS buoy (Ocean Data Acquisition System) manufactured in Canada by AXYS Technologies. It is an important new weather forecasting tool and platform for scientific research/education. In approximately three months from now, the public will be able to access the weather forecasts free of charge by visiting – 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. Technical support will be 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 our shipping industry, as well as increase marine traffic and trade through Port Saint John, an important Atlantic Gateway port.


“A safe and efficient marine transportation sector is critical to Canada’s future economic growth. This weather buoy will enhance navigation safety and efficiency 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.”

Rodney Weston
Member of Parliament for Saint John

“The Port of Saint John is an integral part of New Brunswick’s economic infrastructure. Innovative technology such as the SmartATLANTIC Saint John Buoy will provide critical information that will increase the productivity and reduce costs for the marine transportation industry. The Government of New Brunswick is proud to be part of this initiative which will help make the Bay of Fundy an even more attractive place to do business.”

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

“The degree to which the smart buoy will increase the safety and operational efficiency of Port Saint John cannot be overstated. Port Saint John is very proud to be part of this program and would like to thank all parties that worked tirelessly to make this buoy a reality.”

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

“The SmartATLANTIC weather buoy will help improve marine safety for all users in the Bay of Fundy. We’re proud to support our community partners in this important initiative.”

Mark Sherman
General Manager of the Irving Oil Refinery

“We are very pleased to see the deployment of the Saint John weather buoy. The buoy will provide valuable information for the Saint John marine pilots to enhance their excellent record in providing a safe and effective pilotage service to the marine industry. Having accurate and timely data from the buoy will also add an extra degree of safety for pilots transferring between pilot boats and ships.”

Captain Anthony McGuinness
CEO, Atlantic Pilotage Authority

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
Paula Copeland, PPM®
Manager of Corporate Communications & Governance, Port Saint John
(506) 636-4674
Cell: (506) 650-5288
Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
(613) 993-0055
Captain Andrew Rae
Vice President
Atlantic Canadian Marine Pilots Association
(902) 497-9253


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Download PDF: SmartATLANTIC Buoy Saint John deployment

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