Finland: breaking ice and leading international scientific cooperation in the Arctic

K. Joseph Spears

In true “can do” Finnish fashion, Finland combined celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its independence and its chairmanship of the Arctic Council by organizing an international arctic research expedition (Arctic 100) to increase international cooperation and strengthen understanding of the Arctic region. The Arctic 100 expedition was conducted from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica. Nordica sailed through the Northwest Passage this past summer departing Vancouver on July 5, steaming 10,000 nautical miles and arriving in Nuuk, Greenland on July 29, 2017, 24 days later. It broke the record for the fastest Northwest Passage crossing by one day.

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A warming Arctic – Canada’s need for Marine Response

K. Joseph Spears

The summer of 2017 has seen the Arctic continuing to warm with sea-ice diminishing by both extent and volume. The last decade has seen a constant Arctic warming trend that has resulted in increased global interest in the region and increased marine activities which bring with it increased marine risks. The Arctic is a region that has very little marine infrastructure and organic marine response capability. This past year, the Finnish ice breaker Nordica departed from Vancouver on July 4 to make the earliest eastbound transit through the Northwest Passage arriving in Nuuk, Greenland on July 29. The year 2016 saw the non-ice-strengthened cruise ship Crystal Serenity making history, completing a successful and well-publicized NW Passage transit. The vessel will be doing the same again this year to a sold-out capacity of 1,000 passengers with the assistance of escort vessel RRS Earnest Shackleton. The future is here: Increasing international marine traffic in our Arctic waters presents challenges to Canada’s ability to manage its ocean space, and challenges existing Canadian marine response capability, which includes search and rescue (SAR).

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Speed restrictions imposed in Gulf of St. Lawrence – Chamber of Marine Commerce comments

The federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc, announced on August 11 that, in order to help reduce or eliminate deaths of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence through collisions or other unintentional contacts with commercial vessels, the government is imposing a temporary mandatory speed reduction for vessels of 20 metres or more in length to a maximum of 10 knots when travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence from the Quebec north shore to just north of Prince Edward Island. These measures are in addition to other measures already taken to reduce the possibility of whales becoming entangled in fishing gear.

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Canadian marine shipping endorses international CO2 reduction targets

Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is endorsing proposed international targets to reduce marine shipping’s carbon emissions per tonne-km by 50 per cent by 2050 in order to match the ambition of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Canadian Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipowners are committed to environmental protection and fully endorse this proactive global approach to reducing the carbon footprint of marine shipping,” said Bruce Burrows, President of CMC. “Similar to the airline industry, marine shipping is an international business and it is important that we have one global solution to the challenge of climate change.”

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Vancouver-based GreenPower Motor Co. makes big moves into American market

By R. Bruce Striegler

Only six months after announcing the sale of ten of its EV350 40-foot zero-emission all-electric transit buses to Porterville, California, Vancouver headquartered GreenPower Motor Co. revealed in early June that it had discovered a partner in the San Joaquin valley city, and said it will build a 145,000 square-foot assembly plant and a 6,000 square-foot office in Porterville. Commemorating the event, the California Air Resources Board presented a ceremonial check for $9.5 million, which will pay for Porterville to become the first all-electric city transit system in the United States.

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A windshield on a containership saves fuel and cuts emissions, says MOL

By Mike Wackett

Japanese ocean carrier MOL has successfully completed testing a windshield on the bow of one of its containerships, which it claims has saved fuel and reduced CO2 emissions by around 2 per cent. The windshield was installed on the 2010-built 6,700 TEU MOL Marvel in September 2015 and was monitored during its service on the Asia-North America east coast route.

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Mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach set zero emissions goals for Ports of L.A. and Long Beach

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia are strengthening their pledge to make the twin city-owned ports of the San Pedro Bay global models for cleaner air, sustainability and innovation. They also reaffirmed their commitment to adopting the Paris Climate Agreement goals in their cities, and highlighted the two ports’ critical role in achieving them. The two mayors signed a joint declaration that directs America’s largest port complex to reduce air pollution by moving to zero-emission trucks and yard equipment by 2035 and 2030 respectively. The mayors also affirmed that the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) will include new investments in clean technology, expanding at-berth emission reductions, and launching a zero emissions drayage truck pilot program in the next few years.

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Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock installs ballast water treatment system

Following five extensive weeks of repair and installation activities, Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock (VDC) announced on-schedule completion of its refit activities on Louis Dreyfus’ Ile de Batz Special Purpose/Cable Layer vessel. Arriving on April 21 and departing VDC on May 25, 2017, the Paris (France) based vessel underwent a wide scope of work that included the assembly of a new plow (special insitu welding/machining), overall support for mobilizing the ship, as well as the primary focus of the refit program, the installation of a ballast water treatment system – the first of its kind at VDC.

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Port of Hamilton: Sustainability in the spotlight

Port of Hamilton: Sustainability in the spotlight

Stewardship of the land and water around Hamilton’s port lands is fundamental to the Port of Hamilton’s strategy and operations. This year, HPA will begin the process of outlining a robust Sustainability program, that will track and report publicly on financial, social and environmental metrics. This program will build on a range of environmental initiatives that are already delivering important positive results:

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