Saint Mary’s University and Friends of Port Mouton Bay will partner with other members of the OceanCanada initiative over six years to improve the social, economic and environmental situation of Canada’s oceans, coasts, and coastal communities.
A major part of the research will take place in Nova Scotia, where Saint Mary’s University and Friends of Port Mouton Bay will study the vision, goals and challenges faced by coastal communities, and their future possibilities. The research will draw on the experiences of Port Mouton Bay, and extend the knowledge acquired to other communities locally and across the country.
“We expect our involvement in this OceanCanada project will lead to important results not only for our community but also for others in Atlantic Canada and on Canada’s Arctic and Pacific coasts,” said Friends of Port Mouton Bay representative Darlene Norman. “Community organizations such as ours connect closely with our local fishers and other users of the ocean, such as tourism operators. They bring a vast range of knowledge to the table, which is crucial to success in our research partnerships with universities and government.”
Though all the roles the FPMB will play have yet to be fleshed out, a bit part will be helping coordinate and connect the researches to people and amenities in the area.
Dr. Tony Charles, a Saint Mary’s professor and researcher will lead the university’s involvement in the partnership.
“For a university professor, working closely with local communities is very rewarding,” said Dr. Charles. “It’s also very productive – we get results that can only come by bringing together communities and universities, along with government, NGOs and economic sectors like the fishery. I expect the same will happen with OceanCanada, as we work together to keep our oceans and coasts healthy and productive.”
In addition to his role in OceanCanada, Dr. Charles leads the Community Conservation Research Network, an international project that is based at Saint Mary’s and is working with local communities around the world to help resolve environmental challenges (www.CommunityConservation.Net). Dr. Charles notes that the projects will connect together to use global experiences in addressing social, economic and environmental needs of Canada’s coastal communities. Both projects are funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
A meeting is being planned in October to further talk about the project.
A video talking about the overall project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uSTKUDm3uw