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Harbour divestiture in Canada: Implications of changing governance

Tony R. Walker, Meagan Bernier, Brenden Blotnicky, Peter G. Golden, Emma Hoffman, Jeffrey Janes, Allison Kader, Rachel Kovacs-Da Costa, Shauna Pettipas and Sarah Vermeulen

Marine Policy, 2015, vol. 62, issue C, 1-8

Abstract: Legislation aimed at protecting the marine ecosystems has direct impacts on environmental management of port and harbour operations. As such, environmental management of harbours requires a great deal of technical and financial resources to operate effectively. In Canada, this technical expertise and governance has been provided by the federal government for federally owned harbours. These harbours have been increasingly divested to provincial, municipal, or private owners, but are often contaminated from historical industrial activities and pose potential risks to marine ecosystems. Following divestiture there may be consequences associated with change of governance, because new harbour managers may lack technical and financial resources to follow existing management protocols. Harbour uses often do not change appreciably once divested, thus impacts to sediments, or requirements for maintenance and upgrades will typically continue following change of authority. Policies to implement education and training are therefore essential following change of authority for new custodians to properly understand historical contamination impacts and associated environmental liabilities. Adhering to established management protocols will enable new harbour managers to more effectively manage potential environmental liabilities associated with divested harbours.

Keywords: Harbour divestiture; Environmental liability; Contaminated sediments; Harbour management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.08.018

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