EVALUATION OF THE HEALTH OF THE OCEANS (HOTO) INITIATIVE

Project 6B135
MAY 2012

Table of contents

Acronyms

AANDC
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
ADM
Assistant Deputy Ministers
AMSA
Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment
CCG
Canadian Coast Guard
DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
DG
Directors General
DM
Deputy Ministers
EA
Ecosystem Assessments
EC
Environment Canada
ENGOS
Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations
FTP
Federal/Provincial/Territorial
HOTO
Health of the Oceans
IOM
Integrated Oceans Management Program
LOMA
Large Ocean Management Areas
MC
Memorandum to Cabinet
MPA
Marine Protected Areas (established under the Oceans Act)
NASP
National Aerial Surveillance Program
OAP
Oceans Action Plan
PAA
Program Activity Architecture
PCA
Parks Canada Agency
TBS
Treasury Board Secretariat’s
TC
Transport Canada
WWF
World Wildlife Fund

Executive Summary

Evaluation Objective
The main objective of this evaluation is to determine to what extent the Health of the Oceans (HOTO) Initiative is relevant, is managed effectively and efficiently, and whether it has achieved its stated objectives. As such, the evaluation examined the extent to which HOTO demonstrates value for money in its relevance and performance (including effectiveness, efficiency and economy), in accordance with Treasury Board’s 2009 Policy on Evaluation. This evaluation covered the period from 2007-08 to September 2011 and was undertaken between June 2011 and January 2012.

Program Description
HOTO is a federal horizontal initiative that is led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Each of the 22 components that comprise HOTO has one of five participating departments or agencies as the lead for that component. Partner departments include: Transport Canada (TC); Environment Canada (EC); Parks Canada Agency (PCA); and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Together, the 22 HOTO components are intended to address priority needs in three areas: marine protected area establishment; pollution control; and collaboration. The ultimate outcome for HOTO is the Health of the Oceans. A total of $61.5M in funding was approved for HOTO over a five year period.

Evaluation Methodology
The evaluation used a non-experimental design and a multiple-lines-of-enquiry approach. Qualitative and quantitative data for the evaluation were obtained from the following sources:

  • Document and performance data review;
  • Forty-three interviews with key informants, including senior managers, HOTO component leads, stakeholders and external experts;
  • Online survey of HOTO partners and stakeholders (responses from 37 individuals for a response rate of 31 per cent); and,
  • Four case studies of selected HOTO components.

Key Findings and Lessons Learned

Relevance

  • The evaluation evidence indicates that there is an ongoing need for attention to the health of the oceans. Canada’s oceans have great economic and social significance, yet the documentary evidence indicates that oceans are under pressure in many areas. Key informants, HOTO stakeholders, and the public support efforts to address the health of oceans.
  • HOTO aligns with federal priorities. HOTO is an aspect of the Government of Canada’s National Water Strategy and supports other federal priorities established in the Arctic Agenda, Canada’s Northern Strategy and Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. HOTO also supports Canada in fulfilling its commitments to the international treaties on biological diversity and pollution control.
  • The Oceans Act and Canada’s Oceans Strategy outline the federal mandate in oceans programming, and HOTO contributes to the federal effort to fulfill this mandate. The federal level makes an appropriate and important contribution to oceans programming, in collaboration with other levels of government and other stakeholders.

Performance

Effectiveness

  • Evaluation evidence from all lines of inquiry indicates progress toward the achievement of the immediate outcomes of the HOTO components. Many of the objectives for the 22 components will be met during the HOTO timeframe.Components that have output-based immediate outcomes or support operational requirements were accomplished with few challenges. Those with immediate outcomes of greater complexity or dependent on external factors have encountered greater challenges.
  • Progress on the HOTO intermediate outcome – meeting the high priority needs of marine protected area establishment – is mixed. There has been significant progress in the development of key strategic and operational supports to establish and manage a national network of marine protected areas. A federal strategy and national framework for marine protected areas have been developed. Intended outcomes with respect to establishment of marine protected areas will not be met within the HOTO timeframe, though are targeted for completion by 2014. Continued development of appropriate conservation objectives, related monitoring indicators and protocols, and practical tools for marine protected area management is required and still at the early stages.
  • High priority needs for pollution control have been addressed through four HOTO components. The ballast water regulations are enforced in all Canadian waters. In the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway in particular, the expansion of the enforcement of regulations pertaining to ballast water has been effective in achieving compliance. Since 2006, no new alien invasive species attributable to ships’ ballast water have been reported in the Great Lakes. HOTO has allowed the existing aerial surveillance program to expand its pollution patrol over all Canadian waters. Since the expansion, there has been a continuous reduction in the number of ship-source pollution spill sightings. HOTO has also highlighted shipping issues in the Arctic and supported the assessment of options for reduction and disposal of ship waste.
  • There has been progress in addressing priority needs related to collaborative oceans management. Several HOTO components were dedicated to this effort, and collaboration took place to implement many others. HOTO enabled many government and stakeholder collaborations to be established or advanced. Surveyed HOTO partners and stakeholders are satisfied with these processes. Impacts were noted in areas such as information sharing and the inclusion of a broad spectrum of views, but less so in terms of influence on oceans decision-making and stakeholder commitment to collaborative management.
  • The program’s ultimate outcome – health of the oceans – is achievable only in the longer-term and it is difficult to directly attribute HOTO’s contribution to its achievement. Some concrete outcomes, such as in the area of pollution control, have contributed to this objective; however, other evaluation evidence measuring the program’s performance on this measure was limited.
  • Unintended outcomes of HOTO were few, but mostly positive in nature. Unintended outcomes were largely in the area of unexpected beneficial aspects of collaborations. As well, there was an unexpected positive outcome of the National Aerial Surveillance Program. The Program extended its assistance to the United States for monitoring an oil-spill emergency in the Gulf of Mexico, and acquired international recognition of the excellence of its services. An unintended negative outcome is that shifts in federal approaches to oceans management and regional differences in implementation have created confusion and uncertainty among stakeholders.

Efficiency

  • Aside from delays experienced in the early years of HOTO, most components were implemented as designed. Implementation diverged from design in instances where external factors played a role in reshaping the objectives of the component. Implementation challenges included delays outside the control of the program and other factors such as: intergovernmental and jurisdictional complexities; logistics and costs associated with working in the Arctic; consultation fatigue/limited capacity of some stakeholder groups to participate; and lack of clarity and consistency of policy direction with respect to oceans management.
  • The efficiency of the delivery of HOTO is mixed. While components were implemented with the funds available, concerns were expressed about the short-term nature of HOTO funding to address longer-term oceans management needs. Factors that hindered efficiency included delays and multi-stakeholder consultation processes that require significant time and resources.
  • The roles and responsibilities of HOTO partner departments/agency were viewed as clear. Terms of reference for interdepartmental committees were refreshed for HOTO. However, the Deputy Ministers and Assistant Deputy Ministers committees met infrequently, and increased engagement of senior management, as well as increased joint ownership of Initiative objectives was recommended by some.
  • Performance measurement improved in response to recommendations from the Oceans Action Plan evaluation, with new tools and processes introduced to capture results from HOTO. Component leads are generally satisfied with the requirements for monitoring and reporting, and the performance measurement process proved useful for internal management and reporting functions. Challenges were encountered in evaluating HOTO intermediate and ultimate outcomes as many components are output-based or were not sufficiently advanced to measure impacts at this level.

Economy

  • Few alternative models are available to deliver on HOTO’s objectives. There are some potential alternative program vehicles to deliver aspects of HOTO but these are not clear in terms of their effectiveness or efficiency benefits. Suggestions to improve effectiveness tended to converge around the need for consistent and coordinated approaches to implementation, and leveraging external resources such as from local level organizations, industry and science.
  • HOTO supported an increased federal focus on oceans management. There are many lessons learned that may benefit efforts moving forward to address evolving priorities. In addition to urging greater leadership and attention to oceans management overall, and a closer alignment of efforts to the Oceans Act/Oceans Strategy, future priority areas identified in the evaluation were diverse, reflecting the variety of the HOTO components themselves. Priorities were identified that, if not funded further, would represent a significant loss of momentum and effort invested to date. Key priority areas that were identified included: continued support to fulfill HOTO objectives related to marine protected area establishment; meeting requirements for regulatory enforcement; honouring Canada’s international commitments; attention to the Arctic; and continued focus on coordination and building partnerships.

Recommendations

Collaboration was highlighted as a best management practice which resulted in stronger efforts between Health of the Oceans Initiative partners to maximize the benefits of operational activities. Coordinating structures put in place for oceans planning had tangible benefits, such as building an inventory of current oceans activities within participating jurisdictions. Roles and responsibilities of federal interdepartmental committees were clearly articulated; however, there was less participation of senior management than originally anticipated. While some progress has been made in increasing the engagement of departments and agencies with regulatory authority in decision-making about oceans activities, there is still significant room for improvement.

In the event of Health of the Oceans Initiative funding renewal, the following recommendation should be addressed.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Ministers responsible for Health of the Oceans objectives, from all five partner departments and agencies (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Transport Canada), work cooperatively to:

  • provide centrally coordinated policy direction to support and advance collaborative responses to current and emerging oceans management issues;
  • establish a mechanism to support increased collaboration and maximize the benefits of Health of the Oceans activities; and
  • develop strengthened performance measurement tools, including enhanced outcomes, indicators and protocols, in the event of a renewed federal oceans management program involving collaboration across multiple government departments and agencies.

Introduction

1.1.  Context of the Evaluation

This report presents the results of the evaluation of the federal horizontal Health of the Oceans (HOTO) Initiative. In accordance with Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Evaluation (2009), the evaluation focuses on the extent to which HOTO has demonstrated value for money by assessing the core issues of relevance and performance, including effectiveness, efficiency and economy.

1.2.  Scope

The main objective of this evaluation is to determine to what extent HOTO is managed effectively and efficiently and whether it has achieved its intended outcomes. The evaluation covered the period from 2007-08 – the first year of HOTO – to September 2011 and was undertaken between June, 2011 and January, 2012. The evaluation was led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Evaluation Directorate and an Interdepartmental Evaluation Working Group comprised of evaluation and program representatives from HOTO partner departments/agency. An external consultant was retained to develop the evaluation plan and to conduct the HOTO evaluation. It should be noted that due to the significant overlap between HOTO and DFO’s Integrated Oceans Management (IOM) Program, evaluations of HOTO and the IOM program were conducted simultaneously.

2.  Program Profile

2.1  Background and Objectives

On January 31, 1997, the Government of Canada brought the Oceans Act into force, making Canada the first country in the world to have comprehensive oceans legislation. In 2002, the Government of Canada announced Canada’s Oceans Strategy, fulfilling one of the key requirements under the Oceans Act. The Strategy, as the broad policy statement for oceans management in Canada, defines the vision, principles and policy objectives for a modern oceans management regime.

Canada’s Oceans Strategy supports three broad policy and governance objectives: Understanding and Protecting the Marine Environment; Supporting Sustainable Economic Opportunities; and International Leadership. To support the implementation of the Strategy, the Oceans Action Plan (OAP) was introduced in 2005, which articulated a government-wide approach for managing Canada’s oceans.

Implementation of the OAP began with Phase I funding ($28.4M over two years, 2005-06 – 2006-2007). Building on the science and governance foundations established in Phase I, Budget 2007 included funding for the Health of the Oceans (HOTO) Initiative under a National Water Strategy.

HOTO is a federal horizontal initiative that is led by DFO. Each of the 22 components that comprise HOTO has one of five participating departments or agencies as the lead for that component. Partner departments include: Transport Canada (TC); Environment Canada (EC); Parks Canada Agency (PCA); and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Together, the 22 HOTO components are intended to address priority needs in three areas: marine protected area establishment;1 pollution control; and collaboration. The ultimate outcome for HOTO is the Health of the Oceans.

1Canada’s federal marine protected areas network is comprised of the following three core programs: Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas (DFO) – established to protect and conserve important fish and marine mammal habitats, endangered marine species, unique features and areas of high biological productivity or biodiversity; Marine Wildlife Areas (EC) – established to protect and conserve habitat for a variety of wildlife including migratory birds and endangered species; and National Marine Conservation Areas (PCA) – established to protect and conserve representative examples of Canada’s natural and cultural marine heritage and provide opportunities for public education and enjoyment. Throughout the report, the term marine protected areas refers to marine areas protected by any of the relevant departments/agency. Oceans Act MPAs are marine protected areas established by DFO.

Program Activities and Resources

A total of $61.5M in funding was approved for HOTO over a five year period (2007-08 ending 2011-12)2. The following table summarizes the HOTO components and associated financial resources over that period.

Table 1: Summary of HOTO Components and Total HOTO Resources Allocated
Component

Component

Resources

Component 1, Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy (EC): Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have a critical role to play in the conservation and protection of marine life and their habitats. The Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy ensued from the need for cooperation and a collaborative approach between the three federal agencies with marine protected area mandates (Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada) for the development of a network of federal marine protected areas in Canada as a means to help address the declining health of our oceans. Environment Canada is operating under the Canada Wildlife Act for work being done on the Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy.

EC

$1,250,000

Component 2, The Establishment of Marine Wildlife Areas: The federal marine protected area (MPA) network will be set to expand through the establishment of Sable Island designation as an EC National Wildlife Area with a significant marine component. EC will also establish its first Marine Wildlife Area, the Scott Islands, off Canada’s Pacific Coast, as part of the Federal Network building process. This will entail accumulating scientific information delineate ecosystem requirements, delineate boundaries, and assess socio-economic information considerations. Once the MPA Network is established, the development of management plans, consultation, implementation of compliance plans, and the monitoring of sites will be undertaken.

EC

$2,000,000

Component 3, Sable Island Weather Station: A Government of Canada presence will be maintained on Sable Island, in the form of a manned weather station. The continued human presence at the weather station will allow: Environment Canada to maintain its collection of enhanced meteorological data that contributes to more accurate marine and coastal weather warnings and forecasts, provide continued support for upper atmospheric research on the flow of air pollution and greenhouse gases, protect the fragile Island ecosystem, and facilitate responsible use of the Island by scientists, tourists, industrial interests and others.

EC

$4,000,000

Component 4, Gulf of Maine (at EC): This initiative is a cooperative effort of the Canadian and U. S. federal governments, states and provinces, academic institutions and non-government and business interests through the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. Through the Council, funds have been and will continue to be used to support the Gulfwatch Monitoring Program that monitors dozens of chemicals and metals in the transboundary marine environment and has brought together the interests of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the 3 states of Maine (ME), New Hampshire (NH) and Maine (MA), academic institutions and Canadian and U.S. federal agencies, thereby greatly informing decision making at all levels. The Council’s Climate Change Network will be supported to develop regional indicators and strategies for adaptation within the broader context of the EC-co-led Ecosystem Indicators Partnership committee that is developing a broader suite of indicators and a framework for state-of-the-environment reporting for the ecosystem. The Council has released its 2007-2012 five-year Action Plan which provides considerable opportunities for education and engagement of diverse stakeholders. All Council players, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Environment Canada (EC), were involved in developing the priorities for action outlined in the plan, and funding under the Health of the Oceans could be used to support specific initiatives.

EC

$751,000

Total – EC

 

$8,001,000

Component 5, Domestic Studies Supporting the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and for the protection of the Arctic Marine Environment from Land-based Sources of Pollution: The Arctic Council requested the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group to conduct a comprehensive marine shipping assessment, as outlined in its Arctic Marine Strategic Plan. This Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) is being co-led by Canada, Finland and the United States. Transport Canada is serving as Canada’s lead for the shipping assessment, and will assess current shipping activities as well as predicting future marine shipping uses/activities. This component will provide studies on Canada’s traditional marine resource use, and social, economic and environmental data in order to assess current and future impacts due to changing marine traffic.

AANDC

$175,000

Total –AANDC

 

$175,000

Component 6, Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation in Parks Canada: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have a critical role to play in the conservation and protection of marine life and their habitats. The Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy ensued from the need for cooperation and a collaborative approach between the three federal agencies with marine protected area mandates (Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada) for the development of a network of federal marine protected areas in Canada as a means to help address the declining health of our oceans.

PCA

$1,250,000

Component 7, National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound: The Lancaster project funded under the Health Of The Ocean agenda is a National Marine Conservation Area feasibility assessment. Achieve a full understanding of the feasibility of establishing a National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound with the support of Inuit, Nunavut and key sectoral stakeholders, leading to the conservation of a significant representative component of Canada’s marine environment and a clear demonstration of Arctic sovereignty in the Northwest Passage.

PCA

$5,000,000

Total –PCA

 

$6,250,000

Component 8, Enforcement of Ballast Water Regulations:Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations were proclaimed on June 28, 2006 and all vessels subject to these regulations are required to carry onboard ballast water management plans as of December 8, 2006. These regulations require ballast water exchange on all ships travelling to Canada from outside the Exclusive Economic Zone, to reduce the risk of harmful aquatic organisms or pathogens being unintentionally introduced by the discharge of ships’ ballast water. The enforcement of controls and the development of suitable onboard treatment technologies will reduce the risk of harmful aquatic organisms or pathogens being unintentionally introduced by the discharge of ships’ ballast water, as such avoiding future introductions that could be devastating to fisheries and aquaculture.

Through this initiative, Transport Canada will enforce the Ballast Water Regulations by placing trained and qualified enforcement officers at each of Canada’s key ports and points of entry. Transport Canada will receive completed ballast water reports from vessels transiting waters under Canadian jurisdiction, after which marine safety inspectors will review the reports to targets vessels for inspection. Targeted vessels will undergo onboard inspection to assess ballast water management plans, review ballast water logbooks, and test the salinity of ballast tanks. The funding requested through this initiative is primarily to hire, train and place enforcement officers at the key ports and points of entry to Canada.

TC

$4,500,000

Component 9, Pollution Prevention – Surveillance: Aerial surveillance over Canada’s waterways serves to protect the environment from both intentional illegal and accidental pollution. Increased aerial surveillance and ocean monitoring, for all of Canada’s oceans and Great Lakes, is key to the protection of Canada’s ocean resources for the benefit of coastal communities while protecting fragile marine ecosystems. Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) is the primary tool for detecting ship-source pollution in waters under Canadian jurisdiction. Evidence gathered by NASP crews is used by Transport Canada and Environment Canada to enforce the provisions of all Canadian legislation (including the Canada Shipping Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act) applicable to illegal discharges from ships. Aerial surveillance is widely adopted internationally and is considered to be the most effective method for the detection of oil spills.

Funding through this initiative will improve the frequency and coverage of pollution patrols and expand pollution patrols to areas not normally patrolled. This is consistent with Transport Canada’s area of focus (RPP 2007-08) to continue an aggressive program to increase effectiveness of National Aerial Surveillance Program. This will enable a minimum level of surveillance and enforcement activity of waters under Canadian jurisdiction with a heavy focus on Canada's Arctic marine environment. This will enable a minimum level of surveillance and enforcement activity in all Canadian waters, including the Arctic, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the St. Lawrence Estuary, and East and West Coast waters out to the limits of the exclusive economic zone, to enforce the pollution regulations of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act and the Canada Shipping Act 2001.

TC

$13,000,000

Component 10, Pollution Prevention – Dash 7 Outfitting: Aerial surveillance over Canada’s waterways serves to protect the environment from both intentional illegal and accidental pollution. Increased aerial surveillance and ocean monitoring, for all of Canada’s oceans and Great Lakes is key to the protection of Canada’s ocean resources for the benefit of coastal communities while protecting fragile marine ecosystems. Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) is the primary tool for detecting ship-source pollution in waters under Canadian jurisdiction. Evidence gathered by NASP crews is used by Transport Canada and Environment Canada to enforce the provisions of all Canadian legislation (including the Canada Shipping Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act) applicable to illegal discharges from ships. Aerial surveillance is widely adopted internationally, and is considered to be the most effective method for the detection of oil spills.
Funding through this initiative will improve the capability for observing, detecting and reporting illegal discharges and identifying the vessels that are responsible for polluting waters under Canadian jurisdiction with a heavy focus on Canada's Arctic marine environment, consistent with Transport Canada’s area of focus (RPP 2007-08) to continue an aggressive program to increase effectiveness of National Aerial Surveillance Program. This will enable a minimum level of surveillance and enforcement activity in Canadian waters, including the Arctic, to enforce the pollution regulations of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act and the Canada Shipping Act 2001.

Specifically, this initiative will modernize the current Dash 7 surveillance aircraft with a state of the art surveillance system identical to that used on the East and West coasts that will enable Canada to detect polluters at night and under low cloud, increasing its detection capability by a factor of 25 times. This one-time cost is targeted in year one. Transport Canada will use this aircraft for pollution enforcement on a dedicated basis in the Arctic and over Canada’s Great Lakes.

TC

$5,000,000

Component 11, Arctic International Marine Shipping Assessment: The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) results from the Reykjavik Declaration of the Arctic Council which requested the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment working group to conduct a comprehensive marine shipping assessment as outlined in the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan. The AMSA is being co-led by Canada, Finland and the United States. Through Oceans Action Plan funding, a comprehensive database of information on current Arctic shipping has been collected and assembled (AMSA Phase 2) in a framework designed to facilitate all subsequent AMSA phases.

Through this initiative (AMSA Phase 3), economic and climate change projections will be used to develop plausible regional and global scenarios for shipping traffic in the Arctic in the medium- and long-term. The shipping assessment will provide details of projected shipping activities and the associated risks as reduced sea ice may lead to increased marine transport. A range of shipping activities will be considered, including infrastructure, governance, economic, and environmental impacts. Consultation with Northerners, expert organizations, and the industry will influence the findings for the Arctic Council Report. In addition, writing by experts on a variety of Arctic shipping activities will result in reports and websites, including printing for international distribution.

TC

$550,000

Component 12, Pollution Prevention – Ship Waste Reduction Strategy:Canada is a party and signatory to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78). MARPOL 73/78 limits or prohibits the discharges of wastes into the sea and instead requires onboard treatment or storage of wastes for disposal and treatment ashore. To provide the means for ships to do this, MARPOL also requires parties to MARPOL to ensure that adequate reception facilities for wastes are available in ports and terminals for commercial marine traffic, the subject of this initiative.

Funding through this component will enable the development of a legislative framework and mandatory standards for ships to discharge their waste, in port, prior to departure. It also includes the provision of adequate port waste reception facilities, where disposal costs are included in a flat port fee. The provision of adequate port reception facilities will contribute to a significant reduction in the incidence of illegal discharges of ship generated waste and harmful pollutants into the sea. Such facilities in three major ports- Montreal, Halifax, and Vancouver – and in the Saint Lawrence Seaway Authority would address 80% of Canada’s commercial marine traffic waste disposal problems.

TC

$800,000

Total –TC

 

$23,850,000

Component 13, Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation (DFO): Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have a critical role to play in the conservation and protection of marine life and their habitats. The Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy ensued from the need for cooperation and a collaborative approach between the three federal agencies with marine protected area mandates (Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada) for the development of a network of federal marine protected areas in Canada as a means to help address the declining health of our oceans.

DFO

$1,250,000

Component 14, Development of Federal-Provincial-Territorial MPA Network: Provinces and territories, as well as environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), are calling for the broadening of the federal network of marine protected areas (MPAs) to streamline conservation and protection efforts and make progress on Canada’s international commitment to protect marine areas. Work will be undertaken to evaluate and, where appropriate, include existing provincial and territorial marine conservation and specially managed areas, into a national network of MPAs. Efforts will focus on engaging provincial and territorial authorities, modifying current federal guidelines, assessments and planning tools to reflect common goals and objectives. Federal-provincial and territorial agreements outlining roles and responsibilities will be developed. In addition, federal, provincial and territorial authorities will work to identify common network objectives and MPA selection criteria, indicators and monitoring protocols to ensure that the most robust national network is established. Provincial and territorial MPA measures will also be used to address conservation and protection priorities within the five priority ocean management areas.

DFO

$2,500,000

Component 15, Arctic Council – Ecosystem Projects: As a member of the Arctic Council, Canada has been advancing on ecosystem approach to the Arctic Basin in collaboration with the US. A key component of the Canada-US led circumpolar work of the Arctic Council is the development of a demonstration project on how Ecosystem Based Management can be advanced in shared waters. Given the work undertaken in Canada’s Beaufort Sea Integrated Management initiative, continued development and testing of the circumpolar Ecosystem Based Management approach in Arctic waters is being pursued.

Through this initiative, work to be undertaken over the next five years includes: the review and selection of indicator suites to assess and monitor Arctic ecosystems; experts workshops to develop a common State of the Arctic Report; and sharing lessons learned regarding the advancement of ecosystem-based management of ocean activities in waters beyond national jurisdiction through the international expert group co-chaired by Canada and the US.

DFO

$1,000,000

Component 16, Oceans Centres of Expertise: Although Canada’s marine ecosystems have individual characteristic and are subject to particular stresses, some ocean management challenges lend themselves will to a national approach. Four centres of expertise will be established to address various management challenges that have arisen in the five priority large ocean management areas. These centres of expertise will focus on: deep sea corals and sponges to accelerate Canada’s progress in protecting these areas; traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) held by other ocean users to facilitate incorporating this knowledge into integrated management decision making; data integration and information management to develop common guidance and quality assurance requirement to facilitate exchange of information within and between key ocean areas; and, coastal management – a centre piloted effectively in 2005 and is recommended for continuation.

DFO

$3,000,000

Component 17, Collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Funding through this initiative will build upon the DFO/WWF Collaborative Agreement (2006) in advancing the Health of the Oceans in Newfoundland and Labrador, specific projects included in the Newfoundland Annex of Collaborative Agreement will be undertaken.

DFO

$213,000

Component 18, Gulf of Maine (at DFO): Completion of a Canada/US joint ecosystem overview and assessment of the trans-boundary waters of the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine, and agreement and implementation of complementary programs to support integrated oceans management in both countries.

DFO

$750,000

Component 19, Marine Protected Areas Establishment: Through this initiative, in five years the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) established under Canada’s Oceans Act will double, substantially advancing the establishment of the Federal MPA Network. These areas serve to protect significant natural features of our oceans while pursuing human activities wisely, thereby meeting conservation objectives and promoting responsible oceans development ethic.

DFO will continue to establish Oceans Act MPAs as conservation tools within the context of integrated management in five priority Large Ocean Management Areas. DFO will perform ongoing management including the development and implementation of monitoring programs for each of its existing MPAs, as well as for enforcement and surveillance activities. A monitoring and reporting system will be established at the national level to provide feedback and to measure success in achieving the conservation objectives of the MPAs. The monitoring programs will help and inform MPA managers, decision-makers and the public.

DFO

$5,250,000

Component 20, Integrated Management and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Assessment Tools Linkages: Successful integration of LOMA assessments and those conducted under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act would strengthen sustainability and competitiveness outcomes in coastal regions and meet increasing demands for regionally-relevant information to support cumulative effects assessment and streamline multiple project-level assessment. These efforts will also benefit regulatory processes, such as the Fisheries Act habitat protection provisions. To this end, federal-provincial regulatory authorities will collaborate to ensure a common understanding and application of the various environmental assessment concepts and tools currently in use. Development of an integrated assessment framework will require the cooperation of Responsible Authorities under Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, as well as a clear understanding of the proposed modifications by stakeholders, proponents and environmental NGOs. This will serve to validate the linkages between these assessment processes without affecting the time-sensitive assessment decisions currently underway.

DFO

$1,450,000

Component 21, Ecosystem Science Support and Advice on Health of Oceans: Science support is needed for the designation of the proposed six new Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Support is also needed to assess the effectiveness of current MPAs in achieving their conservation objectives. Activities will also include developing monitoring strategies and protocols, and identifying indicators associated with the conservation objectives for each MPA.

DFO

$5,500,000

Component 22, Spill Capacity Study and Emergency Response Strategy: Past trends in marine transportation, including those related to offshore development and eco-tourism are expected to continue into future years. Likewise, marine shipping is expected to grow generally in the South, but particularly, is expected to increase in Canada’s sensitive Arctic region. Despite advances in transportation technology related to liquid products – such as double hull tankers, and more reliable pipelines, the tendency to build bigger and faster tankers, along with increasing marine traffic, is contributing to a higher risk of large oil spills and environmental damage. DFO, specifically the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Agency, is developing a national environmental response strategy that includes an evaluation of overall capacity. An important element of the national evaluation will include an assessment of response capacity in the Arctic (equipment, people, systems), as well as, a strategy to ensure the most effective and efficient environmental systems for addressing the unique requirements of Canada’s Arctic region.

Canadian Coast Guard (CCG)

$2,260,000

Total –DFO

 

$23,173,000

Total –HOTO

 

$61,449,000


2Budget 2012 extended HOTO funding for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The extension funds 19 components for a total amount of $11.65 million.

Logic Model

The HOTO logic model presents activities and outputs, and intended direct outcomes, intermediate outcomes and ultimate outcomes. This logic model is presented below.

Modéle logique sdo

Program Partners and Stakeholders

Because oceans management is far reaching, having implications that go beyond the federal government, HOTO involves numerous partners and stakeholders, including:

  • Provincial/territorial representatives. Responsibility for managing and protecting the oceans involves both federal and provincial/territorial jurisdictions. Both levels of government share authority and/or are involved in aspects such as protected areas and fisheries;
  • Regulating agencies that make decisions about oceans activities in a given space (i.e., federal, provincial and territorial agencies with authority for areas such as resource development and transportation);
  • Industry (such as fishing, shipping, aquaculture, oil and gas);
  • Non-governmental organizations (particularly environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and community groups);
  • Aboriginal organizations; and
  • Others, such as academia and international bodies.

HOTO does not have a clearly articulated or single beneficiary group. Ultimately, all Canadians benefit from healthy oceans and sustainable use of ocean resources, and more broadly, the conservation of ocean resources is important for future generations.

Governance

An Oceans governance model was established when the OAP was introduced in 2005-06 to coordinate and implement all oceans activities. The model includes federal government interdepartmental, federal/provincial/territorial (FPT) (Oceans Task Group under the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers) and regional committees to provide a forum for collaboration and joint action in support of the management of all activities in or affecting marine areas. In 2008, the federal interdepartmental committees’ Terms of Reference were updated to clarify roles, responsibilities and reporting relationships.

3.  Methodology

3.1.  Project Management

The evaluation was conducted by an external evaluation team, managed by a senior evaluation manager within the Evaluation Directorate at DFO and an Interdepartmental Evaluation Working Group. The team collaborated with program personnel to identify relevant documents and key informants and stakeholders to include in the evaluation, and to review and provide feedback on study products and deliverables.

3.2.  Evaluation Approach & Design

A non-experimental design was used for this evaluation, in which measurements are taken after the program has been implemented with no control group. This model was chosen because HOTO is a full coverage program and it is intended to be delivered across Canada and not withheld from any area or region. The evaluation employed a variety of methods (e.g., interviews, document review, survey) where the evidence drawn from these methods was triangulated to arrive at valid findings and conclusions.

3.3.  Key Issues & Evaluation Questions

The evaluation questions cover both relevance and performance, including effectiveness, efficiency and economy. The HOTO evaluation matrix (Annex A) summarizes the use of multiple lines of evidence and complementary research methods as a means to ensure the reliability of information and data to be collected.

Table 2: Evaluation Questions

1.0   Relevance

1.1   Is there a continued need for HOTO?
1.2   To what extent are the objectives of HOTO aligned with departmental and government-wide priorities?
1.3   Is the current role of the federal government appropriate in the delivery of HOTO?

2.0   PERFORMANCE: Effectiveness

Immediate Outcomes

2.1   To what extent have HOTO’s intended direct outcomes, as identified by the five Partner Departments, been accomplished?

Intermediate Outcomes3

2.2   To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for marine protected area establishment?

  • Federal MPA Strategy Implementation (EC, PCA, DFO)
  • Marine Wildlife Area Establishment (EC)
  • Sable Island Weather Station (EC)
  • National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound (PCA)
  • Fed/Prov/Terr MPA Network Development (DFO)
  • Arctic Council - Ecosystem Projects (DFO)
  • MPA Establishment (DFO)
  • Ecosystem Science Support and Advice on Health of Oceans (DFO)

2.3   To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for pollution control?

  • 1) Domestic Studies Supporting the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and for
    2) the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment from Land-Based Sources of Pollution (AANDC)
  • Enforcement of Ballast Water Regulations (TC)
  • Pollution Prevention – Surveillance (TC)
  • Pollution Prevention – Dash 7 Outfitting (TC)
  • International Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (TC)
  • Pollution Prevention – Ship Waste Reduction Strategy (TC)
  • Spill Capacity Study and Emergency Response Strategy (DFO, CCG)

2.4   To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for Collaborative Oceans Management?

  • Gulf of Maine (EC)4
  • Oceans Centres of Expertise (Coastal, Corals, Data Integration and TEK) (DFO)
  • Collaboration with WWF (DFO)
  • Gulf of Maine (DFO)
  • Integrated Management and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Assessment Tools and Linkages (DFO)

2.5   Ultimate Outcome

To what extent has HOTO made progress towards health of the oceans?5?

2.6   What, if any, unexpected results have occurred as a result of HOTO?

3.0   Efficiency

3.1   Was HOTO implemented as designed? What external factors have influenced the implementation of HOTO?
3.2   Was HOTO delivered in an efficient manner? What factors supported/hindered efficiency?
3.3   To what extent are the roles and responsibilities clear and appropriate within and among HOTO partner departments and agencies? To what extent is interdepartmental cooperation around oceans management taking place?
3.4   To what extent do the performance monitoring/ measurement processes and tools support decision-making and accountability requirements?
3.5   What are the lessons learned in implementing HOTO thus far? What are the key priorities for oceans management moving forward?

3.4   Economy

4.1   Is there a more economical way to achieve the objectives of HOTO?

3Note that the HOTO components have been allocated to one of the three priority areas of marine protected area establishment, pollution control or collaboration based on their primary focus and outlined in the HOTO Performance Summary Report 2009-10. It is acknowledged that some components may contribute to more than one priority needs area.

4Although the EC and DFO Gulf of Maine components share the same name, the activities that were funded are quite different but yet complementary.

3.4 Data Sources

3.4.1   Document, Literature and Performance Data Review

The evaluation included a review of several secondary data sources. Documents that were reviewed included Initiative-related materials (e.g., TB Submission and appendices, performance and accountability frameworks, monitoring and reporting templates) and policy documents (e.g., Oceans Action Plan Phase I, partners departments’ corporate planning and priority documents). Literature in the public domain was examined pertaining to the state of Canada’s oceans and international experience with oceans management (e.g., establishment of marine protected areas). Finally, annual HOTO performance data for each component were reviewed.

3.4.2   Key Informant Interviews

In total, 43 interviews were conducted with key informants. The interviews were conducted with: senior management and program managers within each HOTO partner departments; external stakeholders such as other federal government departments, provincial/territorial officials, representatives from Aboriginal organizations, non-governmental organizations and industry; and experts. A breakdown of key informants by departmental affiliation is as follows:

  • DFO: 16
  • EC: 7
  • TC: 14
  • PCA: 2
  • AANDC: 2
  • Externas experts: 2

The use of percentages to represent the qualitative information obtained from the key informant interviews is not appropriate. However, to ensure a common understanding of the terms used in the analysis and reporting of interview results, the following guidelines have been used:

  • « A few/a small number of interviewees » = less than 25 per cent;
  • « Some/a minority of interviewees» = 25 to 49 per cent;
  • « A majority of interviewees » = 50 to 75 per cent;
  • « Most interviewees »= over 75 per cent; and
  • «Almost all interviewees »= 95 per cent or more.

3.4.3   Survey of Partners/Stakeholders

An online survey was conducted with HOTO partners and stakeholders. Partners and stakeholders included participants in committees and consultations related to HOTO, including: federal/provincial/ territorial representatives; industry representatives such as fishing, shipping, aquaculture, oil and gas; First Nations and Inuit representatives; non-governmental organizations and community groups, scientific/academic/educational organizations; and other stakeholders.

Based on lists of stakeholders assembled by HOTO partner departments, 118 individuals were invited to complete the survey and had valid email addresses. In total, 37 individuals completed the survey for a response rate of 31 per cent. The survey was launched in October 2011 and closed in November 2011.

Note that survey respondents are representative of the DFO-led HOTO components. DFO provided the most extensive list of stakeholders and the response rate for these stakeholders was higher compared to other departments/agency. PCA did not submit stakeholder lists as their HOTO work has involved internal partners only thus far.

3.4.4   Case Studies

Four case studies were completed of selected HOTO components:

  • Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy (HOTO Components #1, #6, #13, aspects of #14). Protecting sensitive marine areas is a key intended outcome of HOTO. Three departments/agencies (EC, PCA and DFO) received HOTO funding to collaborate to achieve a more systematic approach to marine protected area planning and establishment.
  • Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (HOTO Components #5 and #11). The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment was co-led by Canada, Finland and the United States from the Arctic Council, Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group. These HOTO components, led by TC and AANDC, provided an assessment of current and future marine shipping activities in the Arctic, and examined the potential impacts of shipping on indigenous communities and the environment. Included in this funding but separate from the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment was an update to the Arctic Council’s Regional Programme of Action for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. This update was intended to inform policy and decision-makers in Arctic Council states and the marine community in general.
  • Enforcement of Ballast Water Regulation (HOTO Component #8). TC’s Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations (2006) require all ships coming from outside Canada (other than nearby American ports) to exchange their ballast water at sea or treat it if it is to be discharged in Canada to minimize the threat of invasive species from this source. This component supports enforcement of regulations (i.e., dedicated inspectors to the Ballast Water Enforcement Program, training and guidelines and testing). Collaboration with industry and various national and international authorities is a key component of enforcement.
  • Gulf of Maine (HOTO Component #4). This component, led by EC, enabled more active EC participation with other Canadian federal and provincial departments, as well as with US federal and state departments, academic institutions and non-government and business interests in the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. HOTO funding supports implementation of the Canada-US 5-year action plan including regional strategies for adaptation to climate change, indicator development, education and engagement and joint monitoring for toxic contaminants in the transboundary ecosystem.

3.5  Methodological Limitations

The strength of the methodological strategy for the HOTO evaluation is a multiple lines of evidence approach that includes both qualitative and quantitative lines of evidence, and the views of both internal and external stakeholders. Study limitations include:

  • HOTO is a collection of 22 quite different and often discrete components, led by five federal partner departments/agency. Challenges were encountered in addressing evaluation questions in terms of HOTO overall (e.g., the relevance of HOTO, achievement of the direct outcomes of HOTO), as well as assessing the components in detail given the breadth of these efforts. The evaluation collected information at the level of the components, with later analyses conducted to synthesize the findings to the intermediate outcome level. The evaluation yielded lessons learned at the Initiative level, and not the component level.
  • It should be noted that the outcomes that have been identified for some of the HOTO components are more aptly characterized as outputs only (e.g., Dash 7 retrofit, distribution of emergency spill response kits) and indicators related to achievement of intermediate outcomes as laid out in the Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework and Risk-based Audit Framework tend to closely parallel immediate outcomes. Therefore, there is some variability in the extent to which the components are amenable for analysis at the level of immediate or intermediate outcomes.
  • While multiple lines of evidence were used for the evaluation, each of the methodologies are not equally appropriate for assessment of each of the priority needs areas. For example, the sample size for the survey of HOTO partners/stakeholders is quite small and largely represents those with some involvement in marine protected area establishment. Therefore, assessing achievements in the area of pollution control relied more heavily on other sources of evidence (e.g., documentary evidence, case studies).

Other limitations of the individual lines of evidence include:

  • Review of documentation and literature: To bolster some of the study findings, external literature was sought regarding health of the oceans and Canada’s progress on establishment of marine protected areas. Peer-reviewed literature, while preferable, could not be thoroughly accessed and synthesized with the time and resources available for the study
  • Key informant interviews: Key informants contacted for interviews represent a cross-section of internal and external stakeholders, and the five partner departments/agency. Priority candidates could not be reached in all cases. In addition, conducting the HOTO and IOM Program evaluations simultaneously proved challenging. There is significant overlap between the DFO HOTO components and the IOM Program. Conducting the evaluations simultaneously provided efficiencies in terms of use of evaluation resources. However, for DFO internal key informants, the interviews were quite lengthy and there was limited time to gather detailed responses for both programs.
  • Survey of stakeholders: The survey of stakeholders used industry standard methods for survey administration, including two email follow-up reminders and online and telephone assistance to support respondents. In addition, telephone reminders were conducted for stakeholder groups where the responses were particularly low (TC and AANDC). The response rate to the survey was low – just over 30 per cent – and given the finite initial pool of potential respondents, the final sample size for the survey is small. Representativeness of the sample to the population of HOTO stakeholders is difficult to assess given the absence of known characteristics of the population.
  • Case studies: The four HOTO case studies were selected to represent the three priority needs areas within the Initiative. Given the diversity of HOTO activity, case study findings are illustrative of HOTO outcomes and cannot be generalized to other components.

The limitations identified above are common ones for program evaluations of broad environmental programs. Like other studies, this evaluation uses multiple lines of evidence to address the weaknesses of individual methodologies. This process of triangulation strengthens the evidence to answer the evaluation questions. Still, the HOTO ultimate outcome of health of the oceans is of a long-term nature, and difficult to measure and clearly attribute the impact of the HOTO components specifically.

5Note that there was a discrepancy in the HOTO documentation around the intended ultimate outcome of the HOTO Initiative, referred to in some documentation as “keeping coastal waters clean”. The Results-based Management and Accountability Framework identifies the ultimate outcome of the initiative as “health of the oceans”.

4.  Major Findings

4.1  Relevance

 Evaluation Question #1 : Is there a continued need (environmental, societal) for HOTO?

Key Finding: : The evaluation evidence supports the continued need for programming to address the health of the oceans, which show signs of degradation and pressure due to increased use. Canada's oceans have significant societal importance, contributing to economic activity and growth, as well as meeting other social and cultural needs of Canadians.

A review of documentation supports the continued need to address the health of the oceans in Canada. Evidence indicates newly emerging signs of stress on marine environments caused by human and environmental activity.6 Pollution, invasive species, oil drilling, and overfishing are just a sampling of the issues affecting the biodiversity and sustainability of Canada’s oceans.7 While concern over many of these issues has existed for some time, there continue to be activities that degrade habitat and damage ecosystems.8Many expect human activities in the ocean such as tourism, industrial processes, and shipping to intensify in the future,9 particularly in Arctic areas as ice sheets recede.10

With respect to continued societal need, it has been estimated that the economic contribution of ocean sector activities represented an estimated $17.7 billion in direct gross domestic product in Canada in 2006 and over 171,000 people are employed in related industries.11 In addition, there are cultural and social benefits of oceans to the one in five Canadians who live in a coastline community and, more broadly, to all Canadians.

Evaluation key informants across all respondent categories agreed that there is a continued need for attention to the health of the oceans. Key informants cited declining sea ice in the Arctic, habitat degradation, depleted fish stocks and threats due to climate change and invasive aquatic species. Many key informants further noted the economic and societal significance of oceans, anticipating a trend toward increased use of oceans (for example, oil and gas exploration and development, offshore mining, aquaculture). Public opinion generally echoes key informant views. General awareness of environmental issues affecting the oceans is high and Canadians expect the government to show leadership in this area.12

Three-quarters or more of surveyed HOTO stakeholders indicate that there is a continued need for federal attention in all of the key themes under HOTO – science, marine protected areas, engagement of stakeholders, and pollution prevention surveillance and control.

6 P. J. Ricketts and L. Hildebrand, Coastal and Ocean Management in Canada: Progress or Paralysis?, Coastal Management 39, no. 1 (2011): 4-19. International Programme on the State of the Ocean, Implementing the Global State of the Oceans Report (IPSO, 2011), http://www.stateoftheocean.org/research.cfm. .

7J.L. Smith, K. Lewis, and J. Laughren, A Policy and Planning Framework for Marine Protected Area Networks in Canada's Oceans, Halifax: World Wildlife Fund, 2006

8P. L. Stewart and B.T.L. White, “A Review of Contaminants on the Scotian Shelf and in Adjacent Coastal Waters: 1970-1995.,” Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2351 (2001): xviii +158 pp.

9Molnar and Koshure, Cleaning up Our Ocean. David Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club of British Columbia, Living Oceans Society.

10International Programme on the State of the Ocean, Implementing the Global State of the Oceans Report.

11http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ea-ae/cat1/no1-1/no1-1-eng.htm

12Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. (2005). Canada’s Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy (p. 18). Retrieved from
http://www.dfo- mpo.gc.ca/oceans/publications/fedmpa-zpmfed/pdf/mpa-eng.pdf

    McAllister Opinion Research. (December 16, 2008). “BC opinion poll finds widespread concern over health of oceans.” Canada Newswire. http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/232915/bc-opinion-poll-finds-widespread-concern-over-health-of-oceans

 

Figure 1: Stakeholder Opinion on Continued Need for Federal Action

Maintenir laide du gouvernement

While documentary sources and key informant and stakeholder opinion confirm the continued environmental and societal need for attention to health of the oceans, the continued need for each individual HOTO component is less certain. Evaluation findings regarding the priorities for addressing health of the oceans moving forward are discussed in more detail in Section 4.3.

Evaluation Question #2: To what extent are the objectives of HOTO aligned with departmental/agency and government-wide priorities?

Key Finding: HOTO is grounded in the Oceans Act/Canada’s Oceans Strategy. HOTO was announced as a key component of the National Water Strategy, complements other federal strategies with respect to sustainable development and supports Canada’s commitments in international agreements. HOTO components are aligned to identified Program Activity Architecture (PAA) program activities and strategic outcomes for each partner department/agency.

Federal priorities

The Oceans Act includes provisions for many of the activities undertaken through HOTO, including the establishment of marine protected areas. The federal Oceans Strategy includes, among its four pillars, the health of the oceans.

According to program documents and key informant respondents, HOTO is aligned with federal government priorities pertaining both to conservation and economic prosperity, particularly the Government of Canada’s Economic Affairs Outcome Area, a clean and healthy environment. The 2007 Throne Speech committed the Government of Canada to implement a new water strategy to help clean up major lakes and oceans. Budget 2007 created the National Water Strategy, which allocated $105.3 million in funds to improve the quality of water in Canada’s rivers, lakes and oceans, including funding for HOTO.

Also notable, Canada has broad commitments and obligations under international agreements that confer a domestic responsibility for action on oceans, such as those set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). More specifically, a global commitment to establish a network of marine protected areas was made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, and the 2004 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Program of Work on Protected Areas. The global biodiversity targets in the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan for Biodiversity that was adopted at the 10th Convention of the Parties in 2010 call for 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas being protected by 2017. The Strategic Plan for North American Cooperation in the Conservation of Biodiversity is a shared commitment of the three North America Free Trade Agreement state members and, the North American Marine Protected Areas Network (NAMPAN) is nested under this Plan and is guided by the following goal: “Promote the cooperation for the conservation and maintenance of North American regions of ecological significance.” As well, Canada has obligations under the MARPOL Convention. The MARPOL Convention is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. Finally, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments Ballast Water Convention to which Canada has committed will also soon come into effect.13

Documents and key informant respondents also indicate that funded HOTO activities support other federal strategies, including the Arctic Agenda14 and the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada among others.15

Departmental/agency priorities

HOTO partner departments’/agency’s PAAs serve to situate the HOTO components within departments’ program activities leading to strategic outcomes. The following table is a summary of partner departments’ components and priority alignment.

13The treaty will enter into force twelve months after the date on which not less than thirty States, constituting not less than thirty-five percent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping, have ratified the Convention. To date, 28 States have ratified the BWM Convention, adopted in February 2004, representing about 25% of the world’s merchant shipping.

14Most recently, the 2011 Speech from the Throne indicated the current government’s priority of protecting Northern waters.

15Priorities for Environmental Sustainability (Priority III: Protecting Nature; Goal 6; Ecosystem/Habitat Conservation and Protection; 6.3 Target: Marine Ecosystems – Improve the conservation of ocean areas and marine ecosystems by 2012).

Table 3: HOTO Components and PAA Linkage
Department

HOTO Components

PAA Linkage

DFO

Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation in DFO (Component #13)
Development of a Federal-Provincial-Territorial MPA Network (Component #14)
Arctic Council — Ecosystem Projects (Component #15)
Oceans Centres of Expertise (Coastal, Corals, Data Integration, Traditional Ecological Knowledge) (Component #16)
Collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (Component #17)
Gulf of Maine (at DFO) (Component #18)
Marine Protected Areas Establishment (Component #19)
Integrated Management and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Assessment Tools Linkages (Component #20)
Ecosystem Science Support and Advice on Health of the Oceans (Component #21)

Spill Capacity and Emergency Response Strategy (Component #22) (Canadian Coast Guard)

 

Integrated Oceans Management program activity )PAA 2.7) (Components #13-#21)
Canadian Coast Guard (PAA 3.1) (Component #22)

Supports DFO strategic outcome of Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems and also contributes to Economically Prosperous Maritime Sectors and Fisheries

 

Transport Canada

Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy – Implementation in EC (Component #1)
Marine Wildlife Areas Establishment (Component #2)
Sable Island Weather Station (Component #3)

Gulf of Maine (at EC) (Component #4)

 

Aligned with Canada’s natural environment is conserved and restored for present and future generations (strategic outcome); Biodiversity – Wildlife and Habitat (PAA 1.1) (Components #1, #2) (PAA 1.3) (Component #4)
Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water and climate conditions; Weather observations, forecasts and warnings (PAA2.1) (Component #3)

The HOTO components are also aligned with the Habitat Conservation Program Strategy, Migratory Bird Sanctuary Policy, and Criteria and Procedures for Selecting Candidate National Wildlife Areas.
EC

Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy – Implementation in EC (Component #1)
Marine Wildlife Areas Establishment (Component #2)
Sable Island Weather Station (Component #3)

Gulf of Maine (at EC) (Component #4)

 

Aligned with Canada’s natural environment is conserved and restored for present and future generations (strategic outcome); Biodiversity – Wildlife and Habitat (PAA 1.1) (Components #1, #2) (PAA 1.3) (Component #4)
Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water and climate conditions; Weather observations, forecasts and warnings (PAA2.1) (Component #3)

The HOTO components are also aligned with the Habitat Conservation Program Strategy, Migratory Bird Sanctuary Policy, and Criteria and Procedures for Selecting Candidate National Wildlife Areas.
PCA

Federal Marine Protected Area Strategy Implementation in Parks Canada (Component #6)

National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound (Component #7)

 

Heritage Places Establishment (Program Activity 1); National Marine Conservation Area Establishment (Sub-activity) Aligned with Parks Canada’s mandate to establish National Marine Conservation Areas to protect and conserve Canada’s natural and cultural marine heritage, which is outlined in the National Marine Conservation Areas Act and the National Marine Conservation Areas Policy.

AANDC

Heritage Places Establishment (Program Activity 1); National Marine Conservation Area Establishment (Sub-activity) Aligned with Parks Canada’s mandate to establish National Marine Conservation Areas to protect and conserve Canada’s natural and cultural marine heritage, which is outlined in the National Marine Conservation Areas Act and the National Marine Conservation Areas Policy.

 

Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management: supports
the management, sustainable
development and regulatory
oversight of the land, water,
environment and natural

resources of the North. (PAA 3.1, 3.2)

Evaluation Question #3: Is the current role of the federal government appropriate in the delivery of HOTO?

Key Finding: The federal level has legislated roles to play in the delivery of programs to support healthy oceans. The delivery of HOTO was consistent with this role.

The Oceans Act provides a framework for current and future oceans management initiatives in Canada, calling for the Minister of DFO to lead and facilitate the development of a national oceans management strategy, among other responsibilities. HOTO has entailed the involvement of five federal departments and agencies with jurisdiction over specific facets that are implicated in HOTO activities. The health of the oceans is not a federal responsibility alone, however. Many initiatives involve provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, Aboriginal groups and a wide range of other stakeholders.

Key informants agree that the federal government is playing an appropriate role in oceans management. The federal level was described as playing an important leadership role in oceans management due to its legislative authority, as well as responsibility for transboundary waters (e.g., Gulf of Maine) and international commitments. The federal government’s focus on developing policies, structures and regulations was viewed as an important one to provide long term mechanisms to protect the oceans. A number of areas where key informants thought the current federal role was insufficient or could be enhanced were identified and are discussed in more detail in Section 4.3.

4.2. Performance

Evaluation Question #4: To what extent have HOTO’s intended direct outcomes, as identified by the five Partner Departments, been accomplished?

Principale constatation : The direct or immediate outcomes of the HOTO components have been accomplished to varying degrees. Components that have output-based immediate outcomes or support operational requirements were accomplished with few challenges. Those with immediate outcomes of greater complexity, or those that are dependent on external factors have encountered greater challenges.

According to program performance data and program key informants, the immediate outcomes of the HOTO components – the component objectives as articulated by the component lead departments – have been accomplished/are nearing completion, or notable progress is evident. Several HOTO components funded one-time capital investments (Component #10 – the Dash 7 outfitting), supported operational requirements (Component #8 – ballast water regulations enforcement, Component #9 – pollution prevention surveillance) or had very clear tangible outputs (Component #22 – emergency spill response equipment). These components achieved their immediate objectives within the HOTO timeframe and with few challenges.
Deviations in achieving intended direct outcomes for some HOTO components had to do with delays in implementation due to factors often outside departmental/agency control (e.g., requirement for provincial/territorial supports for Areas of Interest prior to Ministerial approval, delays in Ministerial approval of Areas of Interest, organizational issues/policy shifts within external partner organizations (e.g., in the case of Component #20 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act linkages). HOTO components pertaining to marine protected areas have largely met objectives with respect to collaboration, planning and network development (Components #1, #6, #13 and #14). The identification of indicators and the development of monitoring protocols for Oceans Act MPAs has advanced, but been completed for only a couple of these areas owing to difficulties in identifying practical indicators for broadly-defined conservation objectives. The establishment of new marine protected areas has lagged.

Evaluation Question #5: To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for marine protected area establishment?

Key Finding: Progress has been made in the establishment of marine protected areas on several fronts. HOTO has resulted in the development and implementation of key strategic and operational supports needed to establish and manage a national network of protected areas. However, the pace of progress in establishing new marine protected areas has been slower.

Marine protected area establishment was a significant priority under HOTO – ten16-a of the 22 HOTO components focused on this area, representing an investment of about $29 million or about 47 per cent of the HOTO allocation. Given their unique mandates in establishment of marine protected areas, DFO, EC and PCA were variously identified as leads for these components. DFO, EC and PCA were funded to implement the Federal Marine Protected Area Strategy and make progress toward a Federal Network of Marine Protected Areas. Prior to HOTO, the three departments/agency had begun work to coordinate their marine protected area establishment activities, and HOTO funding enabled building upon these efforts. The Strategy responds to the need for cooperation and collaborative approaches among the three federal departments/agency with marine protected area mandates. The coordinated approach also led to a common education and engagement strategy for marine protected areas. The case study of the component underlined the importance of the Strategy in ensuring a coordinated approach in engaging the provinces and territories around marine protected areas.

DFO received funding (under Component #14) to advance coordination of a national (federal-provincial-territorial) network of marine protected areas. DFO Science was funded (under Component #21) to collect baseline information to help inform the identification of new Areas of Interest for Oceans Act MPAs, and develop indicators and monitoring protocols for the management and evaluation of existing Oceans Act MPAs. Finally, a key HOTO objective was to establish or assess the feasibility of nine new marine protected areas:

  • Marine Wildlife Area at Scott Islands (EC lead);
  • National Wildlife Area at Sable Island (EC lead) (eventually became a terrestrial national park reserve under PCA)
  • National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound (PCA lead) (feasibility assessment leading to establishment);
  • Establishment of six Oceans Act MPAs (DFO lead).

The evaluation indicates that, through HOTO, a considerable amount of the necessary groundwork to establish and implement a national marine protected area network and implement the Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy has been accomplished (Components #1, #6, #13, and #14). HOTO provided the funding to increase organizational capacity in the three departments/agencies. A multi-departmental Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Working Group (DFO, EC, PCA) was formed to implement the Strategy. Two key guidance documents were developed, the Federal Guide for Collaborative Planning of Marine Protected Areas (2009) and an overarching, multi-jurisdictional National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas (2011). Drafted by the federal-provincial-territorial Technical Experts Committee, the National Framework outlines: the proposed overarching vision and goals of the national MPA network; identifies the network components, design properties and eligibility criteria for which areas will contribute to the network; describes the proposed network governance structure; and provides the direction necessary to promote national consistency in bioregional network planning. To support marine protected areas establishment, a number of outreach activities were undertaken (workshops, community events) and communications products/supports developed (Oceans Portal, Spotlight on Marine Protected Areas in Canada (2010), Emerald Sea (Pacific Coast) video).

Ecosystem science support and advice (Component #21) provided input into the scientific underpinning for the delivery of many oceans related activities. Ecosystem science provided advice and information in support of the selection of seven Areas of Interest for Oceans Act MPAs, and the development of ecological assessments, as well as advice on biogeographic units to guide marine protected area network planning. Examples of DFO Science guidance documents developed through the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat process include: Development of a Framework and Principles for the Biogeographic Classification of Canadian Marine Areas (2009) and Science Guidance on the Development of Networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) (2009).16-b During the current fiscal year, DFO Science will prepare a guidance document on “Representative” Marine Protected Areas for Network Planning.17

Ecosystem Science also made progress in the identification of indicators and the development of monitoring strategies and protocols that would be used for assessing the effectiveness of Oceans Act MPAs in achieving their conservation objectives. This work has advanced, albeit somewhat slowly due to difficulties in determining indicators for broad conservation objectives that have been set out for some Oceans Act MPAs. As of October 2011, five of eight existing Oceans Act MPAs have indicators and monitoring protocols developed (Eastport, Gilbert Bay, Basin Head, Gully and Musquash Estuary). Indicators have been identified for Tarium Niryutait and the development of monitoring protocols is under way. The development of indicators and monitoring protocols for the remaining two marine protected areas (Bowie Seamount and Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents) are at varying stages of scientific study.

HOTO intended outcomes with respect to marine protected area establishment (Components #2, #7 and #19) will not be achieved within the Initiative’s five-year timeframe. With respect to progress during the HOTO Initiative, the establishment of the Scott Islands as Canada’s first Marine Wildlife Area is in the consultation phase and a regulatory strategy has been drafted. A federal-provincial agreement was reached to designate Sable Island a National Park Reserve, rather than a marine protected area. The feasibility assessment for the proposed national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound was delayed initially to address other outstanding issues in the area, but is now progressing with consultations. The Government of Canada announced its position on a proposed boundary for a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound in December 2010, as a starting point for consultations, and also announced that no exploration for petroleum resources would take place within that area. Updated assessments of the region's ecological values and energy potential have been undertaken.

With respect to Oceans Act MPAs, six Areas of Interest have been approved and announced (Hecate Strait-Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs, Laurentian Channel, Darnley Bay, Shediac Valley, American Bank and St Anns Bank). 18 Because many of the announced Areas of Interest are not far enough along in the MPA establishment process, the HOTO timeline will not be achieved, although all Areas of Interest are expected to be designated by 2014. The following table provides an overview of the status of the six Oceans Act Areas of Interest as of October 2011.

16-aTen HOTO components were allocated to the marine protected area establishment priority area based on their primary focus and allocated to this priority area in the HOTO Performance Summary Report 2009-10. These components include: Federal MPA Strategy Implementation (EC, PCA, DFO); Marine Wildlife Area Establishment (EC); Sable Island Weather Station (EC); National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound (PCA); Fed/Prov/Terr MPA Network Development (DFO); Arctic Council – Ecosystem Projects (DFO); MPA Establishment (DFO); Ecosystem Science Support and Advice on Health of Oceans (DFO).

16-bhttp://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/Publications/SAR-AS/2009/2009_056_e.pdf; http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/Publications/SAR-AS/2009/2009_061_e.pdf

17http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Schedule-Horraire/2011/12_12-13-eng.html

18http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/marineareas-zonesmarines/mpa-zpm/index-eng.htm

Table 4: Status of Health of the Oceans Areas of Interest under the Oceans Act (October 2011)
Approved Area of Interest

Date announced

Status

Hecate Strait/Queen Charlotte Sound glass sponge reefs Pacific

Announced June 2010

 

Drafting of regulatory intent close to completion. Consultations on regulatory intent are complete. Preparation of background regulatory documents anticipated by December 2011. Potential designation in 2012.

 

Darnley Bay

Central & (Arctic)

Announced October 2010

 

Consultations with F/P/T, Aboriginal partners and other stakeholders are underway. Preparation of background regulatory documents anticipated by April 2012. Potential designation in 2013.

Laurentian Channel (NFLD)

Announced June 2010

 

Advisory Committee formed. Consultations with F/P/T, Aboriginal partners and other stakeholders underway. Preparation of background regulatory documents anticipated by spring/summer 2012. Potential designation in 2013.

Shediac Valley (Gulf)

Announced June 2011

 

Advisory Committee being formed. Documents being prepared for consultation. Consultations to begin in winter 2012. Preparation of background regulatory documents anticipated by March 2013. Potential designation in 2014.

American Bank (Quebec)

Announced June 2011

 

Advisory Committee to be being formed in early 2012. Documents being prepared for consultations. Consultations with F/P, Aboriginal partners and other stakeholders are under way to begin in Fall 2011. Preparation of background regulatory documents anticipated by March 2013. Potential designation in 2014.

St Anns Bank (Maritimes)

Announced June 2011

 

Advisory Committee being formed. Documents being prepared for consultations. Consultations underway. Preparation of background regulatory documents anticipated by December 2013. Potential designation in 2014.

With respect to Canada’s international commitments toward a marine protected area network, the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2010) calls for 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas to be protected by 2017. Currently, marine protected areas protect one per cent of Canada’s oceans and Great Lakes.19 Australia has increased its protected areas from 4.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent of its ocean space over the last 10 years. Canada was ranked 70th among 228 countries in establishment of marine protected areas.20

In general, the documentary evidence and key informant opinion indicate that marine protected areas are an important conservation tool for oceans spaces under specific conditions. While there is some debate about the optimal size of marine protected areas and the correct framing of objectives and effective monitoring, marine protected areas are generally regarded as (one of many) effective marine conservation tools. In Canada, it is early days to determine the effectiveness of the marine protected areas that have been established, though some initial data is becoming available for several marine protected areas. Just over half of surveyed HOTO partners and stakeholders consider, at least to a moderate extent, that the establishment of protected areas is resulting in the conservation of the marine ecosystem in the designated space, and that marine protected areas are having an impact on the policies, practices or decisions related to oceans activities.

19There are almost 700 marine protected areas captured in the report by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Spotlight on Marine Protected Areas in Canada, 2010; 83 managed by the federal government.

20Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Spotlight on Marine Protected Areas in Canada, 2010.

Figure 2: Perceived Impacts of Marine Protected Areas

Incidences des aires marines

The key challenges that have been encountered in establishing marine protected areas, according to key informants who indicated them, were significant delays in the approval processes for Areas of Interest for Oceans Act MPAs, as well as protracted consultation processes for some marine protected areas. These challenges were echoed by surveyed HOTO partners and stakeholders who identified a lack of will or weak commitment to marine protected areas at the federal level, difficulties in resolving conflicting interests of stakeholders, and insufficient resources as the three key challenges in the establishment and management of marine protected areas.

Figure 3: Challenges of Implementing MPAs

Défi de mise en peuvre

Evaluation Question #6: To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for pollution control?

Key Finding: HOTO components supported operational requirements for enforcement of ballast water regulations leading to an enhanced rate of inspection, particularly in the Great Lakes, and resulted in near total reduction in aquatic invasive species from this source. Increased surveillance by the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) appears to have deterred oil spills in Canadian oceans. Issues related to shipping in the Arctic have been highlighted in the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and options for ship waste reduction and disposal have been studied.

HOTO’s efforts in the area of pollution control were led by Transport Canada (TC) and particularly focused on enforcement of ballast water regulations and pollution prevention surveillance (including a significant capital investment in aircraft equipment) (Components #8, #9 and #10). Other components addressed research activities with respect to arctic marine shipping and ship waste reduction, and provision of equipment for oil spill response readiness. Together, $26.3 million was allocated to this area, representing 43 per cent of HOTO funding.

A case study of Component #8 – enforcement of ballast water regulations – indicated that enhanced ballast water enforcement21 has increased inspection rates to 100 per cent inspection of vessels from overseas entering the St Lawrence Seaway. In this region, ballast water enforcement has benefited from a joint Canadian and US vessel inspection team to increase efficiency in inspection. Compliance with regulations is very high in the Great Lakes Seaway, at 97 per cent, with corrective action taken for the remaining three per cent before they enter the Seaway. Research on the incidence of observed invasive species indicates that there has been a near 100 per cent decrease in the introduction of invasive species to the Great Lakes from ships since the regulations were brought into effect in 200622.

According to interview respondents, inspection rates for ships entering coastal waters (Pacific and Atlantic) are much lower at 20 to 25 per cent due to the great volume of shipping activity on these coasts. Solutions to managing ballast water in ocean environments are also more challenging, as they require treatment rather than exchange. This is the primary goal of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments also known as the Ballast Water Convention. This treaty is administered by the International Maritime Organization. Ballast water enforcement funded by HOTO has allowed Canada to meet its obligations under the Ballast Water Convention and to ratify it on April 9, 2010.

HOTO funding has also enabled TC to augment the existing National Aerial Surveillance Program budget, resulting in an increase in patrols frequency (patrol hours), expanding the surveillance to areas that were previously not patrolled (such as the Arctic and the Labrador Coast), and improved remote sensing imagery. The increased visibility of NASP surveillance aircraft is perceived to provide a deterrent to ocean pollution incidents. Evidence gathered through NASP surveillance can and has been used to prepare and pursue prosecutions, fines and pleas from marine polluters.

NASP statistics, as presented in the following table, support the deterrent effect. Patrol hours increased since 2006-07 and, while the number vessels that were subject to surveillance has been variable since HOTO, there has been a decrease in pollution sightings since 2009-10, which is suggestive of a deterrent effect.

21Specifically, HOTO funding allowed for the hiring of three more dedicated inspectors to the Ballast Water Enforcement Program, as well as resource requirements to develop additional work instructions, conduct national training, train inspectors on the use of the ballast water database and risk assessment module, and life cycle management of the salinity test equipment inventory.

22 S. Bailey. et. al. “Evaluating Efficacy of an Environmental Policy to Prevent Biological Invasions”, Journal of Environmental Science and Technology., 2011, 45 (7), pp 2554–2561, Publication Date (Web): March 9, 2011

 

Table 5: National Aerial Surveillance Program Statistics

Table 5: National Aerial Surveillance Program Statistics

There are some notable, ancillary benefits of the NASP activities. The remote sensing data, for example, are an asset for surveillance, providing intelligence that is useful to many departments including EC (information for ice charts), TC and Department of National Defence (DND) (marine domain awareness information for marine security), as well as DFO (MPA surveillance and enforcement), and CCG (search and rescue).

Other output-based achievements in the area of pollution control include:

  • Ship Waste Reduction Strategy (Component #12). The Ship Waste Reduction Strategy was implemented to support regulations pertaining to the disposal of ship waste and port waste reception facilities. During the HOTO implementation period, Canada ratified the international requirements for garbage pollution prevention -- the Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships (Annex V of MARPOL). The Regulations apply to all ships in Canadian waters and to all Canadian ships everywhere and ban the discharge of garbage into internal waters and specify requirements for garbage discharge into the oceans. The Regulations also specify record-keeping requirements for commercial carriers. The HOTO-funded Waste Reduction Strategy contributed support for these regulatory activities, by showing how wastes can be managed to meet these regulations. With respect to port reception facilities, under the Canada Shipping Act, Canada has the authority to make regulations requiring ports to provide reception facilities, though to date has not regulated this area. In 2005, TC began to explore other non-regulatory options such as an approach introduced by the “Baltic Strategy” which lays down the no-special-fee system (all costs are integrated into port fees) and mandatory delivery of all wastes ashore. The HOTO-funded Waste Reduction Strategy facilitated the study and consultation processes and contributed support for related activities. Owing to the complex nature of how ports operate and multiple jurisdictions involved, consultations are continuing towards ensuring adequate facilities are maintained in Canadian ports and that new port developments account for waste management needs.
  • Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment. With contributions from AANDC and TC, these components evaluated current and future trends, opportunities and threats in marine shipping traffic in the Arctic (Component #5 and #11). A case study of these components indicates that the report has been translated and is available online. The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report has been promoted at conferences and to Arctic Ministers, and component leads and partners feel the report will be effective in informing future policy decisions related to shipping and pollution control in the North.
  • Spill Capacity Study and Emergency Response Strategy. This component involved distribution/replacement of emergency oil spill response equipment at ten existing depots and outfitted nine additional sites for emergency spill response in the Arctic (Component #22).

Key informants agreed that HOTO activities have met the high priority needs for pollution control, noting observable impacts on aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and other tangible increases in resources, such as the increased number of inspectors and aircraft, and greater access to pollution spill response equipment. Key informants also highlighted HOTO funding devoted to research that may contribute to future pollution control, such as studies related to ballast water treatment.

Evaluation Question #7: To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for Collaborative Oceans Management?

Key Finding: There has been progress in addressing priority needs for collaborative oceans management through various HOTO components. Surveyed HOTO partners/stakeholders were generally satisfied with these processes. Impacts were noted in areas such as sharing of information and the inclusion of a broad spectrum of views, but less impact was perceived in terms of influence on oceans decision-making and stakeholder commitment to collaborative management.

Diverse government authorities and stakeholders have an interest in oceans activities and management. The components under HOTO that address collaborative oceans management include Canada’s (EC and DFO) participation in the international Gulf of Maine Council (as two separate components), as well as fostering linkages with the WWF and alignment of marine environmental assessment tools with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Assessments. Four centres of expertise were also created under this component to address oceans management challenges. Total funding from HOTO for this priority needs area was $6.2 million or 10 per cent of the total allocation.

In addition to the components specified above, other HOTO components also featured a high degree of engagement and collaboration with stakeholders – for example, community consultations conducted by AANDC in support of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report23 and advisory, technical and stakeholder committees struck to gather input on the designation of marine protected areas that were led by DFO, EC and PCA. Engagement and collaboration activities included other federal departments, provincial/territorial representatives, Aboriginal organizations and non-governmental organizations. In the case study, the Federal Marine Protected Area Strategy and National Framework were also noted as key requirements for collaborative oceans management.

In general, key informants felt that HOTO addressed priority needs in the area of collaborative oceans management very well, or at least were “on the right track”. The Gulf of Maine case study (Component #4) is an illustration of enhanced international and domestic collaboration in this transboundary ecosystem as a result of HOTO. Under Component #4, EC received HOTO funds to enhance Canada’s contribution to the joint Canada-US Gulf of Maine Council five-year action plan. A positive, if unanticipated, impact of HOTO was the creation of a Canadian Steering Committee composed of federal departmental representatives (EC and DFO) and relevant ministries from three provinces to better understand jurisdictions’ activities in the Gulf of Maine and to coordinate Canadian participation in the Gulf of Maine Council. During the implementation of HOTO, increased coordination occurred with DFO’s development of the State of the Gulf of Maine Report (Component #18).

Survey respondents who were engaged in committee or consultation/briefing processes were satisfied with the engagement processes (though the sample size is quite small, n=28). Surveyed stakeholders were most likely to agree that the committee/consultation roles and responsibilities were made clear and were understood (over 80 per cent responded 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). About 70 per cent of surveyed stakeholders each also agreed that committee/consultation results were disseminated appropriately, that the mandate of the committee/consultation was clear and that the views of all stakeholders were considered.

Weaker satisfaction levels were expressed regarding committee effectiveness in identifying priority issues (44 per cent agreed) and that consultation/briefings provided participants with adequate information on the nature/benefits of health on the oceans activities to the marine environment (46 per cent agreed).

Surveyed HOTO stakeholders who participated in committees and/or consultations/briefings rated the impact of these engagement processes highest for sharing of information and knowledge, inclusion of a broad spectrum of stakeholders and transparency in the conduct and management of activities (between 60 and 63 per cent indicated that this occurred to a moderate or great extent). Views were more divided and less certain about the effectiveness of collaborative processes in improving stakeholder commitment to collaborative management and in considering stakeholder views in oceans management decision-making (54 and 53 per cent of surveyed stakeholders respectively rated the committee/consultation processes as having this impact to at least a moderate or great extent).

23Note that three community consultations were initially scheduled for this HOTO component, though six were conducted.

Figure 4: Stakeholder Opinion on Impact of Committees/Consultations



Opinions des intervenants

 

Evaluation Question #8: To what extent has HOTO made progress towards the health of the oceans?

Key Finding: HOTO has been moderately successful in terms of supporting dialogue, generating scientific understanding and seeding interest to continue working toward the goal of the health of the oceans.

Key informants and survey respondents perceive HOTO as having laid the groundwork for continued collaboration, knowledge sharing and information networks that will support future actions to support healthy oceans. This sentiment was echoed by surveyed HOTO stakeholders, where 32 percent of these stakeholders indicated that efforts on health of the oceans was contributing to a moderate or great extent to keeping Canada’s coastal waters clean.

A positive exception is some concrete outcomes of HOTO – such as the reduction in Aquatic Invasive Species as a result of the enforcement of ballast water regulations – that are having a direct impact on healthy waters in the St. Lawrence Seaway

Evaluation Question #9: What, if any, unexpected results have occurred as a result of HOTO?

Key Finding: In some collaborative initiatives under HOTO, the number and cross-sectoral representation among stakeholders and effectiveness of engagement exceeded expectations, in some cases continuing beyond the initial objectives. An unintended negative outcome is that shifts in federal approaches to oceans management and regional differences in implementation have created confusion and uncertainty among stakeholders.

A minority of key informants indicated unexpected results from HOTO. A few key informants highlighted that the breadth of participation and the extent of dialogue among various stakeholders in consultative/collaborative processes exceeded expectations. In some cases, collaboration on HOTO led to collaborations on other issues (e.g., establishment of a federal interdepartmental task group on criteria and conduct of reviews and assessments of resource potential in order to establish marine protected areas, networking between DFO science and the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council). Research activities have also spurred some unexpected successes and avenues of further inquiry (e.g., the efficacy of brine in treating ballast water).

In the area of pollution control, an unintended outcome was Canada’s participation in the emergency response to the US Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The onboard remote sensing equipment used by the National Aerial Surveillance Program was instrumental in providing strategic information during this spill. Similarly, Canada’s profile was raised internationally through its leadership role in the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment.

A small number of key informants also identified some unintended outcomes of HOTO having to do with previously unknown gaps in knowledge or in practice (e.g., regional differences in the enforcement of ballast water regulations, baseline data needs in the establishment of marine protected areas, absence of international data on shipping activity in the Arctic). According to a few key informants, shifts in federal approaches to oceans management (e.g., a perceived move away from integrated oceans management) and regional differences in implementation have had an unintended negative effect of creating confusion and uncertainty among stakeholders.

4.3  Efficiency

Evaluation Question #10: Was HOTO implemented as designed? What external factors have influenced the implementation of HOTO?

Key Finding: Overall, HOTO was implemented as designed with some modifications to activities and timelines. A number of factors external to the Initiative influenced implementation of HOTO.

Annual performance summaries and key informant views indicate that, overall, HOTO components were implemented as designed with minor modifications to activities and timelines. As approval of HOTO funding did not occur until September 2007, funding was not available to partner departments/agency until as late as January 2008. This resulted in a delay in the implementation of many planned activities by almost a year. Workplans and priorities were adjusted in subsequent years in response; however, delays were particularly problematic for activities for which the HOTO five-year timeframe was considered to be already very compressed (e.g., marine protected area establishment). Despite these challenges, tangible results were being reported in each of the three priority areas as of 2009-2010.

Implementation delays continued to be a factor beyond year one of HOTO for some components, leading to further modifications to timelines. Delays were due to: protracted federal contracting processes; extensive public consultations; lengthy senior management and Ministerial approval processes for Oceans Act Areas of Interest; and the federal election.

Aside from delays, there were other instances where implementation diverged more substantially from design. For the establishment of marine protected areas, the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia determined that Sable Island should be designated as a national park instead of a national wildlife area (Component #2). This arrangement will, in turn, have implications for the operation of the Sable Island Weather Station (Component #3). EC and PCA have initiated a collaboration on Sable Island, including the type of infrastructure required on the Island, potential ‘greening’ initiatives and alternative resupply methods to increase efficiency. In another example of divergence from the planned HOTO activities, work ceased on the Foxe Basin-Eastern Arctic Area of Interest as the Nunavut partner organization was not prepared to continue with this work in the absence of a long-term, overarching agreement on marine protected areas (Component #19). Under the ecosystem science support component, the Beaufort Sea monitoring pilot project was annulled (as the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme superseded this need) in order to support the application of an Ecosystem Approach in the Beaufort to inform an oil and gas decision support tool (Petroleum and Environment Management Tool) (Component #15). Planned networking by the Oceans Centres of Expertise in Traditional Ecological Knowledge was reduced due to overlap with other traditional ecological knowledge initiatives (Component #16).

External factors that were noted by key informants as having an impact on the implementation of HOTO include:

  • intergovernmental and jurisdictional aspects and complexities (e.g., negotiation of the text of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report among eight participating countries, respecting treaty rights in marine protected areas such as Scott Islands, provincial jurisdiction over ballast water and commitments under international agreements and resolutions (e.g., United Nations));
  • logistics and costs associated with implementing projects in the Arctic (e.g., few harbours, inadequate emergency response, local research institutions, small window of operations due to climate, the greater distances and the increased cost of transportation);
  • competing stakeholder interests and consultation fatigue/limited capacity of some stakeholder groups to participate; and
  • the lack of clarity and consistency of policy direction (referring to issues such as insufficient federal inter-departmental linkages around oceans management, DFO’s dual role to promote the fisheries/aquaculture industry, as well as conservation, regional inconsistencies in communications and practices in marine protected area designation and regulatory enforcement, decisions on marine protected areas that have not taken into consideration HOTO or ecological objectives and priorities).

Surveyed partners and stakeholders identified three major challenges associated with HOTO oceans activities: lack of sufficient funding for marine protected area implementation (“budget constraints”, “working level staff have no funds to deal with the issues that make or break marine protected area establishment – like licence buyouts”); lack of commitment from all government departments (“(lack of) will/vision to establish a whole of government approach to oceans management”, “(lack of) senior level commitment to make things happen on the marine protected area front”); and lack of meaningful engagement of stakeholders (“keeping non-governmental stakeholders engaged due to lengthy processes”, “lack of citizen engagement in decision-making process”, “not convinced real collaboration is occurring at the stakeholder level”).

Figure 5: Perceived Challenges of Implementing HOTO Activities

Perceived Challenges of Implementing HOTO Activities

Evaluation Question #11: Was HOTO delivered in an efficient manner? What factors supported/hindered efficiency?

Key Finding: HOTO was perceived to have been delivered in an efficient matter, though concerns were expressed about the short-term nature of HOTO funding to address longer-term oceans management needs. Factors that hindered efficiency included delays and multi-stakeholder consultation processes that require significant time and resources.

The following table presents the expenditure profile for each HOTO component and partner department/agency. A number of components (13 of 22 components) show lapsed funding to be 10 per cent or greater compared to planned expenditures according to the data available through to year four of HOTO.24 For HOTO overall, actual expenditures are 15 per cent lower than planned expenditures. The amount of lapsed funding varies significantly by component and is related, at least in part, to implementation delays. In the first fiscal year of HOTO - 2007-2008 - approval from Treasury Board did not occur until half way through the year, and funds were not accessible until the final quarter. Workplans had to be adjusted and, in many cases across the five partner organizations and the 22 components, work in the first fiscal year was limited to reprofiling workplans and preparing for staffing. Consequently, a very high percentage of all lapsed funds (for the first four years) occurred in year one. While much of the unspent year one allocation was placed into planned carry-forwards, these were only partially recouped in year two due to a lack of capacity to spend the inflated year two allocation. By year three, with more HOTO-funded staff on hire, and component workplans reprofiled, variance dropped overall. In fact, for many components there began to be significant funding shortfalls. It is also important to note that some of the overall variance is attributed to double-counting of reprofiled funds and, in some cases, HOTO funding was reprofiled within departments to other priority program activities supportive of health of the oceans. The ability of HOTO partner departments/agency to fully spend the residual funds in the last year of HOTO to address HOTO objectives was not explored in the evaluation.

The perceived adequacy of HOTO resources varied across the components. For example, the demands on ecosystem science (Component #21) were seen to exceed available resources, particularly given the expense of scientific research in the Arctic and other remote locations. Planned expenditures for this component were fully spent during the first four years of the Initiative. The components pertaining to the implementation of the Federal Marine Protected Area Strategy experienced challenges in the allocation of the HOTO funds between salary and O&M dollars (salary being insufficient), which introduced workload challenges for staff in completing the work.

In general, however, internal key informants and case study respondents commonly noted that they had been efficient as they could be, given the resources they were provided and the timing of receiving them. Efficiency was supported through the use of existing tools (e.g., communications, governance mechanisms) and shared interests (e.g., pooling of resources among departments/agency involved in marine protected area establishment through the implementation of the Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy).

Factors that reportedly hindered HOTO efficiency included inefficiencies associated with delays or suspension of workplans due to protracted internal approval processes with respect to financial approvals and Ministerial approvals of Oceans Act Areas of Interest. As well, according to some internal key informants, the multi-stakeholder collaboration process does not lend itself to timely delivery of the program. These processes require significant resources (both human and financial). According to one respondent, “you can be inclusive or efficient, not both”.

A common concern expressed by key informants was the short-term nature of the HOTO funding commitment. Many of the HOTO component activities require ongoing support – for example, regulatory enforcement and long-term monitoring and management of marine protected areas.

24Only the pollution prevention (surveillance) Component #9 was slightly over budget at the end of year 4 (by four per cent)

Table 6: HOTO Component Planned and Actual Expenditures: 2007-08-2010-11

Dept

Component Name

Component #

 

Four Year Total

2011-12 Planned Expenditures

EC

Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation

1

Total Planned Expenditures

$1,000,000

$250,000

Actual Expenditures

$655,081

Variance

-$344,919

 

Total Allocation

$1,250,000

Advancing Environment Canada's Marine Protected Areas

2

Total Planned Expenditures

$1,821,000

$179, 000

Actual Expenditures

$1,003,191

Variance

-817,809

 

Total Allocation

$2,000,000

Sable Island Weather Station

3

Total Planned Expenditures

$3,200,000

$800,000

Actual Expenditures

$3,199,700

Variance

-$300

 

Total Allocation

$4,000,000

Gulf of Maine

4

Total Planned Expenditures

$631,000

$120,000

Actual Expenditures

$631,000

Variance

$0

 

Total Allocation

$751,000

AANDC

 

 

 

Domestic Studies Supporting Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, and Protection of Arctic Marine Environment from Land-Based Sources of Pollution

5

Total Planned Expenditures

$175,000

--

Actual Expenditures

$153,517

Variance

-$21,483

 

Total Allocation

$175,000

PC

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation

6

Total Planned Expenditures

$1,083,000

$167,000

Actual Expenditures

$775,829

Variance

-$307,171

 

Total Allocation

$1,250,000

National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound

7

Total Planned Expenditures

$4,000,000

$1,000,000

Actual Expenditures

$327,895

Variance

-$3,672,105

 

Total Allocation

$5,000,000

TC

Enforcement of New Ballast Water Control Regulations

8

Total Planned Expenditures

$3,533,500

$966,500

Actual Expenditures

$3,225,264

Variance

-$308,236

 

Total Allocation

$4,500,000

Pollution Prevention - Improving Aerial Surveillance (surveillance)

9

Total Planned Expenditures

$9,818,400

$3,181,600

Actual Expenditures

$10,243,408

Variance

+$425,008

 

Total Allocation

$13,000,000

Pollution Prevention - Improving Aerial Surveillance (Dash 7)

10

Total Planned Expenditures

$5,000,000

--

Actual Expenditures

$4,912,734

Variance

-$87,266

 

Total Allocation

$5,000,000

Co-Leading the International Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment

11

Total Planned Expenditures

$550,000

--

Actual Expenditures

$533,943

Variance

-$16,057

 

Total Allocation

$550,000

Introducing a Ship Waste Reduction Strategy

12

Total Planned Expenditures

$600,000

$200,000

Actual Expenditures

$463,842

Variance

-$136,158

 

Total Allocation

$800,000

DFO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation

13

Total Planned Expenditures

$1,000,000

$250,000

Actual Expenditures

$714,750

Variance

-$285,250

 

Total Allocation

$1,250,000

Development of Federal-Provincial-Territorial MPA Network

14

Total Planned Expenditures

$2,100,000

$400,000

Actual Expenditures

$1,497,773

Variance

-$602,227

 

Total Allocation

$2,250,000

Arctic Council - Ecosystems Projects

15

Total Planned Expenditures

$800,000

$200,000

Actual Expenditures

$464,518

Variance

-$345,482

 

Total Allocation

$1,000,000

Oceans Centres of Expertise (Coastal, Corals, Data Integration, TEK)

16

Total Planned Expenditures

$2,400,000

$600,000

Actual Expenditures

$2,138,993

Variance

-$261,007

 

Total Allocation

$3,000,000

Collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

17

Total Planned Expenditures

$170,400

$42,600

Actual Expenditures

$170,400

Variance

$0 $

 

Total Allocation

$213,000

Gulf of Maine

18

Total Planned Expenditures

$630,000

$120,000

Actual Expenditures

$584,872

Variance

-$45,128

 

Total Allocation

$750,000

Marine Protected Area Establishment

19

Total Planned Expenditures

$4,462,500

$787,500

Actual Expenditures

$3,925,554

Variance

-$536,946

 

Total Allocation

$5,250,000

Integrated Oceans Management and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) Assessment Tools Linkage

20

Total Planned Expenditures

$1,225,000

$225 000 $

Actual Expenditures

$943,430

Variance

-$281,570

 

Total Allocation

$1,450,000

Ecosystem Science

21

Total Planned Expenditures

$4,400,000

$1 100 000 $

Actual Expenditures

$4,400,000

Variance

$0

 

Total Allocatione

$5,500,000

Spill Capacity and Emergency Response Strategy - with Canadian Coast Guard

22

Total Planned Expenditures

$2,260,000

--

Actual Expenditures

$1,960,328

Variance

-$299,672

 

Total Allocation

$2,260,000

Total HOTO Components

Total Planned Expenditures

$50,859,170

Actual Expenditures

$42,925,392

Variance

-$7,933,778

 

Total Allocation

$61,449,000


Source: HOTO Financial Expenditure Summary_Sept 2011.xls.

Surveyed HOTO stakeholders offer another perspective on improvements to health of the oceans programming. There was little consensus among surveyed stakeholders, with a variety of opinions mentioning: greater involvement with local interests and need for greater transparency/unbiased agency (each mentioned by 14 per cent of respondents) and 11 per cent of respondents mentioned improvements involving increased public awareness/education; increased resources; and improved management processes.

Figure 6: HOTO Stakeholders Proposed Improvement to Health of the Oceans



Improvements to Health

Evaluation Question #12: To what extent are the roles and responsibilities clear and appropriate within and among HOTO partner departments and agencies? To what extent is interdepartmental cooperation around oceans management taking place?

Key Finding: The terms of reference for interdepartmental committees were refreshed for HOTO, and roles and responsibilities of HOTO partner departments/agency were viewed as clear. The DM and ADM committees met infrequently, however, and increased engagement of senior management was recommended by some.

DFO serves as the lead department for HOTO, and partner departments and agencies have responsibility for the delivery of their respective components. Most internal key informants agree that the roles and responsibilities are clear and appropriate within and among HOTO partner departments and agencies. The identification of the HOTO components with lead agency assignments was useful to specify the responsibilities.
According to program documentation, interdepartmental cooperation occurs through a committee governance structure that was established under the OAP in 2005-06. Note that interdepartmental membership is not restricted to HOTO partners, but is comprised of roughly 20 departments/agencies with mandates relating to oceans. There are three federal government interdepartmental committees:

  • The Deputy Ministers (DM) Interdepartmental Committee on Oceans is an ad hoc committee that is brought together when needed, though did not meet during HOTO.
  • The Assistant Deputy Ministers Interdepartmental Committee on Oceans is a sub-committee of the Deputy Ministers Interdepartmental Committee, chaired by the ADM, Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector, DFO (to June 2011 prior to a realignment within DFO). The committee is a forum for collaboration and joint action on matters related to the Oceans Action Plan, including the HOTO Initiative and, more broadly, implementing the federal agenda as it touches on Canada’s oceans. The Committee provides operational direction downward. This committee met three times in 2008 and 2009.
  • The Directors’ General (DG) Interdepartmental Committee on Oceans includes representation from HOTO Initiative partner departments/agency (five federal departments), other federal organizations with a stake in the Oceans agenda, as well as central agencies – roughly 20 organizations in all. The committee provides advice and support to the Assistant Deputy Ministers Interdepartmental Committee on Oceans and is also a forum for joint action in support of a national strategy for the management of all activities in or affecting marine areas. The Directors General (DG) Interdepartmental Committee on Oceans met seven times, to date, since the announcement of HOTO in October 2007.

Secretariat functions are performed within the Regional Operations Branch at DFO to coordinate the activities of the interdepartmental committees (since 2010-11). The Terms of Reference for the interdepartmental committees were revised in 2008. The secretariat has also helped to foster information sharing and collaboration through the HOTO Forum – a web-based information portal for interdepartmental committee members and a HOTO Leads Meeting, held at the mid-way point of the Initiative. There is also a web-based Forum which enables information sharing across the wider committee membership, beyond the five HOTO partners.

Most internal key informants confirm that interdepartmental cooperation around oceans management is taking place to a greater extent than prior to HOTO, with the caveat that some HOTO activities are less amenable to or require less interdepartmental collaboration than others and collaborative activities at the regional level do not occur in the same fashion or with the same success in all regions. Where interdepartmental cooperation has been effective, most key informants note their satisfaction with the format and the benefits of a more coordinated approach to oceans management.

A key recommendation of the OAP evaluation was a more strategic role for the interdepartmental committees. The senior level interdepartmental committees met sporadically during HOTO and DFO as lead department has few levers to encourage greater commitment. Improvements recommended by some key informants included greater commitment on the part of partner departments/agency and increased engagement of senior level management to improve on delivery of common initiative objectives and identified priorities.

Evaluation Question #13: To what extent do the performance monitoring/ measurement processes and tools support decision-making and accountability requirements?

Key Finding: HOTO performance monitoring and measurement processes and tools are well-regarded and have proven beneficial to management of the HOTO components and partner departments’ internal reporting. Challenges were noted in demonstrating impact at the level of intermediate and ultimate outcomes.

The evaluation of the OAP recommended improvements to performance monitoring for future phases, and clarification and strengthening of the roles and responsibilities of the Secretariat with respect to performance measurements and monitoring.

For HOTO, a Risk Based Audit Framework/Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (2007) was developed. DFO was charged with compiling biannual updates received from each partner department/agency for each component into an annual performance summary report. To support performance reporting, a performance measurement template and a protocol for completion, approvals and transmission were developed. Performance data that are collected include: HOTO activity linkage to departmental/agency PAA; expenditures; status of projects; evaluation and audit studies; work plan deliverables accomplished during the fiscal year and progress towards the five-year outcome of a HOTO component; and other key indicators to measure progress and indirect results. The completed templates for each component are then summarized by DFO in a one to two-page table.

A strong majority of internal key informants with responsibility for HOTO components hold positive views about the HOTO performance monitoring and measurement processes and tools. There were no significant difficulties, and several interviewees described the tools specifically as “clear”, “simple” and “user-friendly”. Additionally, some component leads reported using their HOTO performance reporting to benefit their own internal functions, allowing them to track their progress, remain focussed, document the project for continuity during staff absences or turnover, and make better-informed decisions.

Only a few suggestions for improvement were made:

  • Have finance groups fill in the financial data rather than the program staff, as the financial officers may have more precise knowledge of expenditure details.
  • There should be an opportunity to adjust objectives and reporting to reflect evolution of the Initiative.
  • Use a specific project code for HOTO to simplify the financial reporting process.
  • Preference for annual (as opposed to biannual) reporting.

As mentioned previously (under Section 3.5), the specification of outcomes within the HOTO logic model presented challenges in answering evaluation questions related to achievement of intended outcomes. For instance, addressing “high priority needs” in areas of marine protected area establishment, pollution control and collaboration is challenging to demonstrate from the performance measurement information, and indicators tend to overlap with immediate outcomes. As noted previously, this is due, in part, to the output-based nature of some components. For others, such as those pertaining to marine protected area establishment, it is too early to tell whether such areas are having a positive impact on conservation of sensitive marine areas and health of the oceans, as they are not yet fully established and practical conservation objectives, and monitoring indicators and protocols are not yet in place.

The case study of the Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy noted a challenge in the identification of targets, indicators and monitoring protocols to evaluate the effectiveness of the overall federal marine protected area network. While some work was undertaken in this area by DFO under the national marine protected area network initiative (Component #14), an overall monitoring and performance framework for marine protected areas is still pending. Interviewees point to the inherent difficulties in establishing common indicators within a specific bioregion and the need for greater clarity and direction from the respective departments/jurisdictions on monitoring and reporting requirements.

4.4.  Economy

Evaluation Question #14: Is there a more economical way to achieve the objectives of HOTO?

Key Finding: There were few program alternatives suggested for HOTO as individual components were perceived to have achieved objectives in an economical manner. Examples of program alternatives were difficult to assess in terms of comparative effectiveness.

The issue of economy concerns whether program outcomes are achieved at least cost and whether there are alternatives to the current program that could achieve the same outcomes at a lower cost. In this section, the evaluation findings presented include key informant opinions and suggestions in documents on alternative, more cost-effective approaches to achieve HOTO objectives.

There were few program alternatives to HOTO that were identified by key informants. The HOTO components were selected for funding from a larger package that included a broader array of components, some of which were subsequently not funded. Comparative effectiveness of a different configuration of components or alternative governance model is difficult to estimate. A small number of key informants felt the absence of a HOTO component dedicated to integrated oceans management had a negative impact on the effectiveness and cohesiveness of HOTO.

There were some mentions of alternatives to the current federal approach for selected HOTO components. A few key informants mentioned the potential for a greater role for industry in bearing the costs of oceans management. An illustration of this would be in the area of pollution control, where regulations requiring ships to have systems on board for the treatment of ballast water would reduce federal costs for ongoing enforcement of the ballast water exchange regulations in the long-term. A small number of respondents noted that Canada currently has three departments/agencies with responsibility for marine protected areas and the potential for consolidation of activities within one agency or an umbrella agency was suggested as potentially leading to efficiencies. However, there is no evidence from the evaluation that efficiencies would, in fact, materialize and currently all three organizations hold legislated mandates to establish marine protected areas.

There was little in the documents that were reviewed to demonstrate more economical ways to achieve the objectives of HOTO. However, McLeod and Leslie (2009)25 argue that a centralized and consistent federal approach to oceans management may be most economical and effective. Regional planning is important, but this should be orchestrated centrally. The authors further argue for increased efforts to integrate multiple sectors to achieve maximum economy of resources in undertaking collaboration, scientific research, and establishing marine protected areas.26 This could include the delegation or contracting of tasks to academic, private and not-for-profit sectors while government maintains a management role. In this vein, a few key informants also suggested capitalizing on existing hard and soft infrastructure, like the research technology available at research institutes and academies, or volunteer and civil society networks for information sharing and consultation (though this approach would be less practical for remote/offshore marine protected areas).

With respect to marine protected areas, Australia has significantly increased the number of marine reserves and area under protection through the use of regional marine plans. In their assessment of the Australian approach, Stark and Ladell (2008) suggest that “combining MPA network planning with regionally-based marine-use planning is the most efficient way to achieve a network of MPAs that takes into the account the needs of government, multiple user groups and coastal communities”.27 Jessen’s (2011) review of global best practice in marine protected areas and marine planning notes advances in several areas: the designation of vast new marine protected areas (with significant no-take/high internal protection levels) such as in the US Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Australian Great Barrier Reef; efforts to implement marine protected area networks (as opposed to marine protected area practice focused on individual sites) within an ecosystem-based management approach and marine spatial planning; and the definition of time-bound public processes to identify and implement marine protected area networks.28

Finally, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society research outlines several socio-economic concerns that need to be considered specifically in the establishment of marine protected areas and could be continued or reinforced in future oceans programming:

  • Identify community-based initiatives and integrate local knowledge;
  • Inventory current uses and activities; and
  • Identify opportunities for alternative uses and compatible activities (Jessen et al. 2011)

25K. MacLeod and H. Leslie, “State of Practice,” in Ecosystems Based Management for the Oceans (Island Press, 2009)
26K. MacLeod and H. Leslie, “State of Practice,” in Ecosystems Based Management for the Oceans (Island Press, 2009);
    M. Rutherford, M. Dickinson, and T. Gunton, “An evaluation of the national framework for marine planning in Canada,” Environments 37, no. 3 (2010).
27J. Stark and K. Ladell, The International School of Marine Protected Areas Progress Report Card: Canada, Australia and the United States, A Report by Living Oceans Society, the Sierra Club British Columbia, and the David Suzuki Foundation, Vancouver, BC, 2008.
28S. Jessen, A Review of Canada’s Implementation of the Oceans Act since 1997 – From Leader to Follower?, Coastal Management, 39:1, 20-56.

Evaluation Question #15: What are the lessons learned in implementing HOTO thus far? What are the key priorities for oceans management moving forward?

Key Finding: HOTO has promoted an increased focus on oceans management at the federal level. There are many lessons learned that may benefit efforts moving forward to address evolving priorities.

Lessons Learned

Key informants were asked to describe any lessons learned that have emerged from their experience with HOTO. A frequent comment from key informants was that, overall, HOTO was important in providing focus and commitment to identified priority needs areas. Dedicated staff and resources supported progress on many fronts. Lessons learned that were identified included:

  • Coordination. There were many key informant comments pertaining to the importance of coordination in the effective and efficient delivery of oceans management. For many components, coordination was initially weak, though evolved toward greater coherence over time. Examples mentioned by key informants include:
    • The development of the National Framework for a national marine protected areas network was intended to inform and coordinate the selection of marine protected areas, however, it was approved too late to inform the selection of the HOTO Oceans Act Areas of Interest.
    • Processes for consultation and selection of Oceans Act Areas of Interest were not well coordinated regionally and did not have the benefit of central coordinating support within DFO in the early years of HOTO. Opportunities for efficiencies across regions (sharing of tools, etc.) were lost. The lack of consistency was noted as a source of frustration by several HOTO stakeholders.
    • Coordination across components was underdeveloped in the original HOTO submission. EC and DFO participation in the Gulf of Maine, for example, evolved toward greater coordination during HOTO through the creation of a Canadian Steering Committee to ensure a coordinated Canadian approach in the Gulf and on the Gulf of Maine Council.
  • Realistic expectations and clear objectives and outcomes. Several components that had clear and tangible objectives and were not subject to external constraints were more straightforward in their implementation and had better success in achieving and demonstrating effectiveness. Other components had objectives that were more broadly cast, ambitious or amorphous, or which were subject to factors in the broader environment. Completion of these components proved very challenging in terms of both resources and timeframes for those charged with their implementation (e.g., marine protected area establishment).
  • Collaboration and partnership. While collaborative oceans management was a priority intended outcome of HOTO (which five of the 22 components were identified as supporting), key informants more broadly noted the value of the engagement and collaboration that occurred within most of the components as a best management practice. Collaborations facilitate information sharing among interested parties, establish buy-in and often the pooling or leveraging of resources and expertise.
  • Anticipate operational requirements and consider these within the funding request. This lesson learned was pertinent, for example, to the pollution control components for which funding was used to support operations – the distribution of emergency spill response equipment or aerial surveillance operations. These kinds of activities have ongoing resource implications, such as training and maintenance of physical equipment, that need to be recognized within the original allocation. With respect to marine protected areas, costing models for marine protected area establishment and ongoing monitoring and management were limited. Resources were perceived by some to be inadequate to accomplish these tasks.
  • Experience, skill and continuity of the project lead. This factor was mentioned by a small number of key informants. Components that were led by experienced leads, often with existing networks or prior direct experience with the component activities/operations were noted to benefit from a rapid and strong start.

Priorities Moving Forward

When asked to identify what they believed to be the most important future priorities for the health of the oceans moving forward, many key informants generally noted the importance of continued funding under a future ‘HOTO2’. Many of the HOTO components are considered by key informants to be investments in addressing longer-term oceans management needs, which if not funded further, would represent a significant loss of momentum and effort invested to date. Moreover, several key informants urged greater leadership and attention to oceans management at the senior levels of government, with a closer alignment of efforts to the Oceans Act/Oceans Strategy to ensure a balance between protection and sustainable development of oceans.

In terms of specific priorities, the broad spectrum of HOTO components yielded similarly broad responses with respect to priorities moving forward. However, commonly noted were:

  • Marine protected area designation and management. The HOTO marine protected area establishment objectives are expected to be met by 2014. Completing the designation process was noted by key informants as a high priority need for conservation of sensitive marine areas and to meet Canada’s international commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, implementation of consultation and regulatory processes remain for many marine protected areas, requiring additional investment in the short-term. In the longer-term, science work to refine conservation objectives, and develop indicators and monitoring protocols for new and existing marine protected areas is required, as well as strategies and enforcement support for management of marine protected areas. The National Framework that is now in place is expected to pave the way for a more coherent and streamlined selection of marine protected areas in the future. Surveyed stakeholders appear to agree with this priority – when asked about their level of support for a National Framework for Canada’s network of marine protected areas, 70 per cent of stakeholders supported the framework to a great extent and another 21 per cent supported a National Framework to a moderate extent.
  • Regulatory enforcement. HOTO provided funds to support enforcement of ballast water regulations and pollution prevention surveillance through the NASP. Key informants pointed to the effectiveness of these efforts and, more generally, for the need for regulations of any kind to be accompanied by some form of enforcement regime to ensure compliance.
  • Meeting Canada’s international commitments. As mentioned above, Canada is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which specifies targets for protection of marine areas that are currently not being met. As well, endorsement of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, to which Canada is a contracting party, is expected in the short-term. A number of key informants further named Canada’s participation and contribution to international organizations – the Gulf of Maine Council and the Arctic Council – as continuing priorities.
  • The Arctic. The Arctic was mentioned by several key informants as a key priority for future oceans management. Changing climactic conditions and increasing pressure for resource development in the Arctic were said to suggest a need for attention in this region.
  • Coordination and partnerships. Consistent with lessons learned mentioned above, a number of key informants further noted future priorities to include continued building of partnerships, and coordination and transfer of knowledge across partner departments/agency and across oceans management activities. One example is creating opportunities to pool efforts and resources to address multiple tasks. The use of aerial surveillance to monitor ocean pollution, while at the same time meeting objectives for data collection and enforcement of Oceans Act management strategies is an illustration of coordinated effort that is currently being explored.

Examples of other priorities mentioned by small numbers of key informants include: expansion of education and engagement of Canadians in oceans management and fostering action at the community level; addressing marine debris and near shore issues such as land-based sources of oceans pollution; continued promotion of HOTO products and success stories (e.g., the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report); and providing infrastructure support to small vessels.

Key informants’ priorities were echoed to some extent by surveyed HOTO partners/stakeholders. The most important future priorities identified in the survey include: marine protected area designation, management and monitoring (24 per cent) (though recall that survey respondents are drawn largely from stakeholders involved in marine protected area establishment); establish clear goals, targets or tangible actions (22 per cent); and undertake partnerships and collaborations (14 per cent).

Figure 7: Stakeholder Opinion on Future Priorities for Health of the Oceans

Prioriés futures

Among surveyed stakeholders, 43 per cent suggested that the federal government assume a leadership role aligned with the Oceans Act to implement these priorities and 27 per cent also mentioned committing funding and resources a key federal role to address priorities.

5.  Conclusions

The findings of the evaluation lead to the following broad conclusions about the relevance and performance (effectiveness, efficiency and economy) of the Health of the Oceans Initiative.

5.1.  Relevance

  • The evaluation evidence indicates that there is an ongoing need for attention to the health of the oceans. Canada’s oceans have great economic and social significance, yet the documentary evidence indicates that oceans are under pressure in many areas. Key informants, HOTO stakeholders, and the public support efforts to address the health of oceans.
  • HOTO aligns with federal priorities. HOTO is an aspect of the Government of Canada’s National Water Strategy and supports other federal priorities established in the Arctic Agenda, Canada’s Northern Strategy and Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. HOTO also supports Canada in fulfilling its commitments to the international treaties on biological diversity and pollution control.
  • The Oceans Act and Canada’s Oceans Strategy outline the federal mandate in oceans programming, and HOTO contributes to the federal effort to fulfill this mandate. The federal level makes an appropriate and important contribution to oceans programming, in collaboration with other levels of government and other stakeholders.

5.2.  Performance

Effectiveness

  • Evaluation evidence from all lines of inquiry indicates progress toward the achievement of the immediate outcomes of the HOTO components. Many of the objectives for the 22 components will be met during the HOTO timeframe.Components that have output-based immediate outcomes or support operational requirements were accomplished with few challenges. Those with immediate outcomes of greater complexity or dependent on external factors have encountered greater challenges.
  • Progress on the HOTO intermediate outcome ‘meeting the high priority needs of marine protected area establishment’ is mixed. There has been significant progress in the development of key strategic and operational supports to establish and manage a national network of marine protected areas. A federal strategy and national framework for marine protected areas have been developed. Intended outcomes with respect to establishment of marine protected areas will not be met within the HOTO timeframe, though are targeted for completion by 2014. Continued development of appropriate conservation objectives, related monitoring indicators and protocols, and practical tools for marine protected area management is required and still at the early stages.
  • High priority needs for pollution control have been addressed through four HOTO components. The ballast water regulations are enforced in all Canadian waters. In the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway in particular, the expansion of the enforcement of regulations pertaining to ballast water has been effective in achieving compliance. Since 2006, no new alien invasive species attributable to ships’ ballast water have been reported in the Great Lakes. HOTO has allowed the existing aerial surveillance program to expand its pollution patrol over all Canadian waters. Since the expansion, there has been a continuous reduction in the number of ship-source pollution spill sightings. HOTO has also highlighted shipping issues in the Arctic and supported the assessment of options for reduction and disposal of ship waste.
  • There has been progress in addressing priority needs related to collaborative oceans management. Several HOTO components were dedicated to this effort, and collaboration took place to implement many others. HOTO enabled many government and stakeholder collaborations to be established or advanced. Surveyed HOTO partners and stakeholders are satisfied with these processes. Impacts were noted in areas such as information sharing and the inclusion of a broad spectrum of views, but less so in terms of influence on oceans decision-making and stakeholder commitment to collaborative management.
  • The program’s ultimate outcome – health of the oceans – is achievable only in the longer-term and it is difficult to directly attribute HOTO’s contribution to its achievement. Some concrete outcomes, such as in the area of pollution control, have contributed to this objective; however, other evaluation evidence measuring the program’s performance on this measure was limited.
  • Unintended outcomes of HOTO were few, but mostly positive in nature. Unintended outcomes were largely in the area of unexpected beneficial aspects of collaborations. As well, there was an unexpected positive outcome of the National Aerial Surveillance Program. The Program extended its assistance to the United States for monitoring an oil-spill emergency in the Gulf of Mexico, and acquired international recognition of the excellence of its services. An unintended negative outcome is that shifts in federal approaches to oceans management and regional differences in implementation have created confusion and uncertainty among stakeholders.

Efficiency

  • Aside from delays experienced in the early years of HOTO, most components were implemented as designed. Implementation diverged from design in instances where external factors played a role in reshaping the objectives of the component. Implementation challenges included delays outside the control of the program and other factors such as: intergovernmental and jurisdictional complexities; logistics and costs associated with working in the Arctic; consultation fatigue/limited capacity of some stakeholder groups to participate; and lack of clarity and consistency of policy direction with respect to oceans management.
  • The efficiency of the delivery of HOTO is mixed. While components were implemented with the funds available, concerns were expressed about the short-term nature of HOTO funding to address longer-term oceans management needs. Factors that hindered efficiency included delays and multi-stakeholder consultation processes that require significant time and resources.
  • The roles and responsibilities of HOTO partner departments/agency were viewed as clear. Terms of reference for interdepartmental committees were refreshed for HOTO. However, the DM and ADM committees met infrequently, and increased engagement of senior management, as well as increased joint ownership of Initiative objectives was recommended by some.
  • Performance measurement improved in response to recommendations from the Oceans Action Plan evaluation, with new tools and processes introduced to capture results from HOTO. Component leads are generally satisfied with the requirements for monitoring and reporting, and the performance measurement process proved useful for internal management and reporting functions. Challenges were encountered in evaluating HOTO intermediate and ultimate outcomes as many components are output-based or were not sufficiently advanced to measure impacts at this level.

Economy

  • Few alternative models are available to deliver on HOTO’s objectives. There are some potential alternative program vehicles to deliver aspects of HOTO but these are not clear in terms of their effectiveness or efficiency benefits. Suggestions to improve effectiveness tended to converge around the need for consistent and coordinated approaches to implementation, and leveraging external resources such as from local level organizations, industry and science.
  • HOTO supported an increased federal focus on oceans management. There are many lessons learned that may benefit efforts moving forward to address evolving priorities. In addition to urging greater leadership and attention to oceans management overall, and a closer alignment of efforts to the Oceans Act/Oceans Strategy, future priority areas identified in the evaluation were diverse, reflecting the variety of the HOTO components themselves. Priorities were identified that, if not funded further, would represent a significant loss of momentum and effort invested to date. Key priority areas that were identified included: continued support to fulfill HOTO objectives related to marine protected area establishment; meeting requirements for regulatory enforcement; honouring Canada’s international commitments; attention to the Arctic; and continued focus on coordination and building partnerships.

5.3.  Recommendations

Collaboration was highlighted as a best management practice which resulted in stronger efforts between Health of the Oceans Initiative partners to maximize the benefits of operational activities. Coordinating structures put in place for oceans planning had tangible benefits, such as building an inventory of current oceans activities within participating jurisdictions. Roles and responsibilities of federal interdepartmental committees were clearly articulated; however, there was less participation of senior management than originally anticipated. While some progress has been made in increasing the engagement of departments and agencies with regulatory authority in decision-making about oceans activities, there is still significant room for improvement.

In the event of Health of the Oceans Initiative funding renewal, the following recommendation should be addressed.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Ministers responsible for Health of the Oceans objectives, from all five partner departments and agencies (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Transport Canada), work cooperatively to:

  1. a) provide centrally coordinated policy direction to support and advance collaborative responses to current and emerging oceans management issues;

         b) establish a mechanism to support increased collaboration and maximize the benefits of Health of the Oceans activities; and

         c) develop strengthened performance measurement tools, including enhanced outcomes, indicators and protocols, in the event of a renewed federal oceans management program involving collaboration across multiple government departments and agencies.

Annex A: HOTO Evaluation Matrix

Issue

Indicators

Document Review

Literature
Review

Performance Monitoring Data

Key Informant Interviews

Expert interviews

Case Studies

Online Survey

Senior Managers, Component Leads, Staff

Stakeholders/
partners

Pertinence

1.1 Is there a continued need for HOTO?

  • Evidence of environmental/societal need and emerging issues with respect to health of the oceans

    Perspectives of key informants and experts on the continued need for the components/types of components funded by HOTO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.2 To what extent are the objectives of HOTO aligned with departmental and government-wide priorities?

Degree of alignment of Initiative with:

  • Degree of alignment of Initiative with:

  • Departmental objectives, priorities and strategic outcome (PAA linkage)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.3 Is the current role of the federal government appropriate in the delivery of HOTO?

  • Mandate consistent with federal jurisdiction

  • Perceived importance/appropriateness of federal government role in health of the oceans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PERFORMANCE: Effectiveness

Immediate Outcomes

2.1 To what extent have HOTO’s intended direct outcomes, as identified by the five Partner Departments, been accomplished?
  • Progress as reported in Performance Monitoring Reports (e.g., reported progress against workplans, deliverables; progress against strategic outcomes) and by component leads

  • Illustrative examples of the accomplishment of objectives from each Partner Department

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intermediate Outcomes
2.2 To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for protected area establishment?

  • Federal MPA Strategy Implementation (EC, PCA, DFO)
  • Fed/Prov/Terr MPA Network Development (DFO)
  • Oceans Act MPA Establishment (DFO)
  • Ecosystem Science Support and Advice on Health of Oceans (DFO)
  • Marine Wildlife Area Establishment (EC)
  • Sable Island Weather Station (EC)
  • National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound (PCA)
  • Progress as reported in Performance Monitoring Reports (e.g., reported progress against workplans, deliverables; progress against strategic outcomes)

  • Views of interview and survey respondents

  • Illustrative examples of the implementation of components (e.g., MPA designation)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3 To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for pollution control?

  • Gulf of Maine (EC, DFO)
  • Domestic Studies Supporting the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment from Land-Based Sources of Pollution (INAC)
  • Enforcement of Ballast Water Regulations (TC)
  • Pollution Prevention – Surveillance (TC)
  • Pollution Prevention – Dash 7 Outfitting (TC)
  • Arctic International Marine Shipping Assessment (TC)
  • Pollution Prevention – Ship Waste Reduction Strategy (TC)
  • Spill Capacity Study and Emergency Response Strategy (DFO, CCG)
  • Progress as reported in Performance Monitoring Reports (e.g., reported progress against workplans, deliverables; progress against strategic outcomes

  • Views of interview and survey respondents

  • Illustrative examples of the implementation of components (e.g., TC component)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4 To what extent has HOTO met the high priority needs for Collaborative Oceans Management?

  • Arctic Council – Ecosystem Projects (DFO)
  • Oceans Centres of Expertise (Coastal, Corals, Data Integration and TEK) (DFO)
  • Collaboration with WWF (DFO)
  • Integrated Management and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Assessment Tools and Linkages (DFO)
  • Domestic Studies Supporting the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and for the protection of the Arctic Marine Environment from Land-Based Sources of Pollution (INAC)
  • Gulf of Maine (DFO)
  • Progress as reported in Performance Monitoring Reports (e.g., reported progress against workplans, deliverables; progress against strategic outcomes
  • Views of interview and survey respondents
  • Illustrative examples of the implementation of components

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimate Outcome
2.5 To what extent has HOTO made progress towards health of the oceans?

  • Perceived progress of HOTO toward ultimate objective of health of the oceans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.6 What, if any, unexpected results have occurred as a result of HOTO?
  • Identified indirect or “spin off” results (positive or negative) not associated with the original HOTO intended outcomes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Efficiency

3.1 Was HOTO implemented as designed? What external factors have influenced the implementation of HOTO?
  • Challenges in implementation as reported in Performance Monitoring Reports

  • Perceived factors external to HOTO that could affect implementation of HOTO

  • Comparison of planned versus actual implementation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 Was HOTO delivered in an efficient manner? What factors supported/hindered efficiency?
  • Expenditure profile(by component, by department)

  • Opinions on the extent to which components are completed efficiently

  • Opinions on the extent to which components are completed efficiently

  • Suggestions for how to improve efficiency of the delivery of initiatives to support healthy oceans

  • Strengths and weaknesses of delivery approach with respect to efficiency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.3 To what extent are the roles and responsibilities clear and appropriate within and among HOTO partner departments and agencies? To what extent is interdepartmental cooperation around oceans management taking place?
  • Stated roles and responsibilities of DFO and of partners

  • Recommendations from OAP evaluation implemented

  • Perceived clarity and appropriateness of roles and responsibilities

  • Effectiveness of roles/need for improvement

  • Perceived effectiveness of collaboration and coordination among partners

  • Nature and appropriateness of involvement of departments/ agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.4 To what extent do the performance monitoring/ measurement processes and tools support decision-making and accountability requirements?
  • Current performance monitoring strategy; suggested improvements from OAP evaluation implemented

  • Perceived degree to which current reporting requirements elicit an accurate representation of actual performance

  • Perceived usefulness of performance data

  • Suggestions for improvement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 What are the lessons learned in implementing HOTO thus far? What are the key priorities for oceans management moving forward?
  • Particularly effective strategies (best practices)

  • Reported challenges encountered in implementing HOTO, as well as mitigation strategies

  • Perceived future priorities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economy

4.1 Is there a more economical way to achieve the objectives of HOTO?
  • Presence of comparable initiatives

  • Possible (more economical) alternatives, both to the HOTO Initiative as a whole, and each component

  • Views of key informants and experts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annex B : Status Update on HOTO Components

Component

Expected Results*

Status (Performance Summary 2010-11)

Component #1: Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy

Lead: Environment Canada (EC)
Advance the creation of a Federal Network of Marine Protected Areas that contributes to the health of Canada’s oceans, established and managed within an integrated oceans management framework.

Through collaboration among EC, PCA and DFO a more systemic approach to marine protected areas planning and establishment and management and enforcement strategies was supported by:

  • Inventory of existing federal, provincial, and territorial marine protected areas (Spotlight Report); data collection and expansion of a) the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas’ (CCEA) Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System; b) online mapping interface; c) migratory bird key habitat sites
  • Participation/hosting of conferences and workshops (MPA experts, Technical Experts Committee, Federal MPA Practitioners’ and Network Practitioners meetings); and
  • Educational and outreach activities (web-sites, multi-media promoting marine protected areas and marine conservation

Component #2: Marine Wildlife Areas Establishment

Lead: Environment Canada (EC)
Both the National Wildlife Area at Sable Island and Marine Wildlife Area at Scott Islands will be ready for designation, and a contribution will have been made to the Federal Marine Protected Area Network building process.

The decision to designate Sable Island as a national park was announced by Canada and Nova Scotia in May, 2010. Parks Canada has taken the lead to develop long term protection for Sable Island and a federal-provincial park establishment agreement was signed in October 2011.

A draft regulatory strategy has been developed for Scott Islands. Key deliverables have been completed, including: a traditional knowledge and use study for the Marine Wildlife Area, compilation and analysis of spatial information, Dec 2010 workshop to identify ecological drivers and best available information, four Steering Committee and Advisory Group meetings. Progress has been made toward initiating the socio-economic study, stakeholder engagement, First Nation consultations, and partner agency discussions.

Component #3: Sable Island Weather Station

Lead: Environment Canada (EC)
Continued operation of the Sable Island Weather Station and conserving the unique and fragile ecosystem of Sable Island by protecting it from human degradation. Maintenance and repairs have been carried out to ensure continued functionality of the weather station for a 24/7 human presence throughout the year. EC Meteorological Service of Canada staffs have provided on-going support and emergency and safety services were offered to local operators such as DND, DFO and the offshore petroleum industry. Linkages with stakeholders were established, information sharing occurred with visitors to Sable Island, and the station continued to provide municipal services.

Component #4: Gulf of Maine (at EC)

Lead: Environment Canada (EC)
Increased support for the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment and implementation of the joint Canada-US five-year action plan that includes implementation of regional strategies for adaptation to climate change, indicators development, education and engagement and joint monitoring for toxic contaminants in the trans-boundary ecosystem. Support towards the implementation of the joint Canada-US Action Plan has occurred with building Canada-US relationships and capacity as a key piece. Scientific investments have continued in the Gulfwatch: Chemical Contaminant Monitoring Program. The Ecosystem Indicator Partnership has developed non-biased scientific indicators and disseminated them through a web-based data system. The Climate Change Network has produced background reports on possible effects of extreme participation or climate change on the Gulf of Maine. Outreach has occurred such as the survey of Maine Council on the Marine Environment membership and Gulf of Maine Times newsletter.

Component #5: Domestic Studies Supporting the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment from Land-based Sources of Pollution

Lead: Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND)
The series of reports will lead to: a greater understanding of Aboriginal Arctic marine resource use; and a greater understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts from changing shipping patterns on northern and aboriginal communities.

The activities under this component were completed in the 2008-09 fiscal year included community consultations on local use of Arctic ocean resources and impacts of changing shipping patterns. The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report is available online at http://www.pame.is/amsa/amsa-2009-report.

The project is now complete.

Component #6: Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation in Parks Canada Agency

Lead: Parks Canada Agency (PCA)
Advance the creation of a Federal Network of Marine Protected Areas that contributes to the health of Canada’s oceans, established and managed within an integrated oceans management framework. Regional analysis and research studies were completed for the Bay of Fundy, Arctic Basin, Arctic Archipelago, and Queen Maud Gulf marine regions, are underway for the Foxe Basin and Hudson Strait marine regions and imminent for the Vancouver Island Shelf region, the last regions requiring such study in the Parks Canada National Marine Conservation Area system planning framework. Additional research was completed in support of a possible National Marine Conservation Area proposal in James Bay. Collaborative ocean management occurred in areas such as three DFO-hosted MPA network planning workshops, contributions to the development of the National Framework for marine protected areas, participation in the tri-agency MPA Working Group, and leading or contributing to the development and delivery of MPA communications materials and events, such as World Oceans Day activities, compilation of an MPA Inventory and “Spotlight on Canada’s marine protected areas” report, and the Emerald Sea video.

Component #7: National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound

Lead: Parks Canada Agency (PCA)
Achieve a full understanding of the feasibility of establishing a National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound with the support of Inuit, Nunavut and key sectoral stakeholders, leading to the conservation of a significant representative component of Canada’s marine environment and a clear demonstration of Arctic sovereignty in the Northwest Passage. The project was launched formally by signature of an MOU with the government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association in December 2009.Canada’s position on a proposed boundary for the National Marine Conservation Area was announced in December 2010 as a starting point for consultations. The announcement also indicated that a final boundary decision would be informed by updated assessments of the area’s energy resources and ecological values, both of which are now at advanced stages, and that while consultations are taking place, no exploration or development of petroleum resources will occur within the proposed boundaries. A Steering Committee that was appointed in early 2011 has met several times and is preparing for consultations to begin.

Component #8: Enforcement of Ballast Water Regulations

Lead: Transport Canada (TC)
Enforcement of regulations that minimize the risk of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens form being introduced through ship ballast water to waters under Canadian jurisdiction. Activities have occurred to protect sensitive areas, particularly the Great Lakes, from the introduction of invasive aquatic species from ships ballast water. These include: adding 3 FTEs, provided inspectors with equipment to verify compliance, updated the enforcement program, initiated a National Shipping Vector Risk Assessment, pre-published the ratified Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations, updated the national water ballast database, evaluated if regulations have reduced risk of harmful introductions, and screened all ballast water reports received from inbound vessels.

Component #9: Pollution Prevention – Surveillance

Lead: Transport Canada (TC)
Enforcement of Canada’s pollution prevention regulations in the Pacific, Arctic, East Coast Waters, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence Estuary. The Dash 7 aircraft was deployed to the Arctic and conducted surveillance. During summer 2010, no pollution incidents were detected. In total, there were 459 vessels flown in 230 hours. Three NASP aircraft conducted surveillance for a total of 2505.8 productive patrol hours nationally. NASP continued participated in Operation Nanook in 2010 and an awareness campaign for the NASP has taken place.

Component #10: Pollution Prevention – Dash 7 Outfitting

Lead: Transport Canada (TC)
Enforcement of Canada’s pollution prevention regulations in the Pacific, Arctic, East Coast Waters, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence Estuary. Modernization of the current Dash 7 surveillance aircraft to a standard equal to the Dash 8 surveillance aircraft dedicated for use on the East and West Coast.

The Dash 7 aircraft was retrofitted to Dash 8 standards.

The project is now complete.

Component #11: Arctic International Marine Shipping Assessment

Lead: Transport Canada (TC)
An assessment of projected shipping activities and the associated environmental, social and economic impacts and risks as reduced sea ice may lead to increased marine transport in the Arctic.

Data analyses were conducted to project future shipping activities in the Arctic. The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report was completed, published in English and translated into French and Inuktituk. The report is available on line (http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-arctic-amsa-1789.htm). The project is now complete.

Component #12: Pollution Prevention – Ship Waste Reduction Strategy

Lead: Transport Canada (TC)

Adequate reception facilities for wastes; appropriate legislation and standards.

The Vessel Waste Technology Study was completed, including a section on addressing residual air emissions. The scope of the study was defined by the Canadian Marine Advisory Council and results will be used during future consultations and identifies suitable waste treatment technologies.

Component #13: Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy Implementation in DFO

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

The establishment of the Federal Network of Marine Protected Areas will be strengthened and managed within an integrated oceans management framework that contributes to the health of Canada’s oceans. DFO’s portion of the co-ordinated approach.

Activities include: compilation of federal data for completion of a national inventory of marine protected areas, hosted a Federal Marine Protected Areas MPA workshop, worked collaboratively as part of the Strategy working group, co-organized two one day workshops in advance of the CCEA Annual Conference, presented Canada’s approach to MPA network planning at the World’s Ocean conference and worked with the US and Mexico on the NAMPA, collaborated more with CCEA/ Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System, and ensured Strategy liaison with the federal-provincial-territorial MPA network Technical Expert Committees.

Component #14: Development of Federal-Provincial-Territorial MPA Network

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Development of a National (federal-provincial-territorial) marine protected area network in Canada’s three oceans.

This initiative grew from the federal initiative to take a more strategic and integrated approach to the establishment of marine protected areas. Accomplishments include: collaboration to complete the national inventory of marine protected areas, supported a contract for a GIS specialist to increase mapping support, co-hosted a workshop on decision support tools, co-hosted two FPT workshops on MPA network planning and finalizing the National Framework, worked with DFO Science to develop indicators and protocols to test effectiveness of marine protected areas, extensive consultation on the National Framework, contributed to regional MPA network planning (e.g., drafting of a Canada-BC MPA Network Strategy), and produced a national protected area status report for 2006-2011 to be released on June 8, 2012. The National Framework document was published in September, 2011.

Component #15: Arctic Council – Ecosystem Projects

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

A State of the Arctic Basin Report and use of common ecosystem monitoring strategies in shared and boundary waters.

Activities undertaken have served to advance and inform Arctic Council EA related projects. Deliverables include: formal review by the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment EMB group of the working map of Arctic LMEs, a proposal to launch a Canada Pilot project in Beaufort Sea to test LME indicators, a new Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment project on the Arctic Overview Report and to address recommendation IID of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, collaboration with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Marine Research Institute of Norway, INAC, and FAIT, and supported Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment activities to advance implementation of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment recommendation related to shipping impacts.

Component #16: Oceans Centres of Expertise (Coastal, Corals, Data Integration, Traditional Ecological Knowledge -TEK)

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Establishment of four centres of excellence. Development and implementation of common tools and approaches in the five LOMAs to protect deep sea corals and sponge reefs, incorporate traditional ecological knowledge, develop information management and exchange standards and accelerate progress in addressing coastal management issues.

The centres of expertise assist in addressing various management challenges that have arisen in the five priority large oceans management areas (LOMAs). Workplans were developed to ensure activities are consistent with HOTO priorities.

  • Cold Water Corals and Sponge Reefs. This Centre of expertise created a National Working Group consisting of representatives from DFO, Parks Canada, and Natural Resources Canada which held meetings/workshop twice annually, provided review and oversight on Pacific Region’s Coral and Sponge Conservation Strategy, chaired a bi-regional working group who drafted a Coral and Sponge Conservation Strategy for NL and eastern Arctic waters, partnered with Science and FAM to produce science advisory reports, published a Status Report on Coral and Sponge Conservation in Canada, developed an intranet mapping application for coral and sponge data as well as completed a Communications Strategy.. The communications strategy included the development of an educational DVD for fish harvesters, a website, and a GCpedia page.
  • Centres of expertise in Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). This Centre of expertise held workshops, networking activities, and is developing a revision of the TEK strategy. There is an ADM decision about a possible reduction of scope for this Centre of expertise.
  • State of the Oceans Reporting. A sub-group of members has produced the five regional LOMA reports, to be published in 2011-12. Twelve reports were published to serve as background and supplementary material for these regional reports.
  • Centre of Expertise in Costal Management. Various instrument review initiatives regarding effectiveness of legislations has been initiated, the Centre of expertise has been involved in the development and application of ecosystem-based risk analysis tools and approaches, initiated a series of key manuscripts and guidelines for the Centres of expertise’s tool kit, participated in workshops and meetings, and made progress on validating the Centres of expertise’s overarching objectives through a network of experts.

Component #17: Collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Studies as per agreement, leading to greater contribution by Environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs) to the Health of the Oceans in integrated management, health of the oceans and responsible development in Newfoundland.

The WWF-Canada collaboration has included: participation in the development and identification of conservation priorities of the PB/GB LOMA, engaged in the planning process of the integrated management plans for PB/GB, ESSIM, Beaufort Sea and PNCIMA, shared expertise in MPA planning, provided advice in cod recovery planning, developed options for long term recovery plan for 3NO cod stock, contributed to development of the NL and eastern Arctic Coral/Sponge Conservation Strategy, participated in science advisory processes for identifying key species and concentrations and developing an encounter protocol framework for corals and sponges, promoted research gaps and opportunities, and participated with NAFO Scientific Council’s Working Group on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems.

Component #18: Gulf of Maine (at DFO)

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Completion of a Canada/US joint ecosystem overview and assessment of the trans-boundary waters of the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine, and agreement and implementation of complementary programs to support integrated oceans management in both countries

A final ecosystem and overview report was completed in 2010-11, and a State of the Gulf of Maine Report was released in the US in June 2010. An additional five theme papers were produced and released. A working group was created and will coordinate input to future workplans. An interim report has been completed on the awareness, use, and influence of the State of the Gulf of Maine report, to be finalized in 2011-12.

Component #19: Marine Protected Areas Establishment

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Six new Marine Protected Areas will be designated within the existing Large Ocean Management Areas and a national monitoring and reporting system will be implemented for all Oceans Act marine protected areas.

To date, six Areas of Interest have been approved and announced, and are in various stages of MPA establishment, in the following regions: Quebec, Gulf, Newfoundland and Labrador, Maritimes, Central and Arctic, and Pacific.

Component #20: Integrated Management and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Assessment Tools Linkages

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Integrated management carried out under the Health of the Oceans initiative will be bridged with other tools, such as project environmental assessment and strategic environmental assessment conducted under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Integrated management tools activities include: Increased examination and analysis of marine spatial planning, development and guidance for risk analysis in the coastal and marine environment to further identify priority areas and issues, advancement of discussions with Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on adoption of DFO developed ecosystem based management tools, participation in development of terms of reference for a new Offshore Oil and Gas management regime, co-chairing and holding workshops to develop a business case for establishing marine cadastre for Canada, and discussions with Stats Canada to identify data needs to support marine planning and ecosystem valuation.

Component #21: Ecosystem Science Support and Advice on Health of Oceans

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Science advice on Marine Protected Areas and on priority sector-specific impacts and mitigation.

Science-DFO has provided baseline information to inform the selection of Areas of Interest and the development of monitoring indicators and protocols for existing marine protected areas. Science activities have occurred to varying degrees in the regions: Quebec, Gulf, Newfoundland and Labrador, Maritimes, Central and Arctic, and Pacific.

Component #22: Spill Capacity Study and Emergency Response Strategy

Lead: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Canada’s spill response capacity in the Arctic assessed, and equipment and systems to respond to the unique risks prepared.

This component added or replaced equipment at ten existing depots and outfitted nine additional sites. While the project timing was delayed due to contracting issues and the loss of a shipping season in the Arctic, the distribution of the kits to communities was completed in 2010-11.


*As identified in the HOTO Risk Based Audit Framework

 

ANNEX C : Management Action Plan

Recommendation

Collaboration was highlighted as a best management practice which resulted in stronger efforts between Health of the Oceans Initiative partners to maximize the benefits of operational activities. Coordinating structures put in place for oceans planning had tangible benefits, such as building an inventory of current oceans activities within participating jurisdictions. Roles and responsibilities of federal interdepartmental committees were clearly articulated; however, there was less participation of senior management than originally anticipated. While some progress has been made in increasing the engagement of departments and agencies with regulatory authority in decision-making about oceans activities, there is still significant room for improvement.

In the event of Health of the Oceans Initiative funding renewal, the following recommendation should be addressed.

Recommendation :
It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Ministers responsible for Health of the Oceans objectives, from all five partner departments and agencies (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Transport Canada), work cooperatively to:

  1. a) provide centrally coordinated policy direction to support and advance collaborative responses to current and emerging oceans management issues;

Strategy

Build upon the successful interdepartmental collaboration – as identified in the Health of the Oceans Initiative (HOTO) evaluation report – currently being practiced by the five, federal HOTO partners by consolidating those practices currently recognized as effective and efficient, extending collaborative planning and information-sharing across the broader group of roughly 20 federal partner departments and agencies represented on the Interdepartmental Committees on Oceans and facilitating national-regional interchange in planning efforts between the Interdepartmental Committees on Oceans and regional oceans management committees. To ensure timely completion of all actions, DFO will coordinate outstanding actions among HOTO partner departments and agencies.

Recommendation

Management Actions

Actions Completed

Actions Outstanding

Target Date

Supporting Evidence

1. a) Renew the Interdepartmental Committees on Oceans

  • Reconvene the Directors General Interdepartmental Committee on Oceans and the Assistant Deputy Ministers Interdepartmental Committee on Oceans, and seek input on and approval of renewed Terms of Reference.
  • Create a “Forward Agenda” for Interdepartmental Committees on Oceans to enhance capacity to coordinate oceans management efforts with federal partners.
  • October 31, 2012
  • December 31, 2012
 

Recommendation

  1. b) establish a mechanism to support increased collaboration and maximize the benefits of Health of the Oceans activities; and

Management Actions

Actions Completed

Actions Outstanding

Target Date

Supporting Evidence

1. b) Facilitate greater collaboration and information sharing among federal oceans managers and planners

  • Enhance and promote the online forum of the Interdepartmental Committees on Oceans to enable federal oceans planners to more easily share information and resources, and avoid duplication of effort.
  • December 31, 2012
 

Recommendation

  1. c) develop strengthened performance measurement tools, including enhanced outcomes, indicators and protocols,   in the event of a renewed federal oceans management program involving collaboration across multiple government departments and agencies.

Management Actions

Actions Completed

Actions Outstanding

Target Date

Supporting Evidence

1. c) Strengthen outcomes, indicators and performance measurement tools for collaborative federal oceans management

  Upon confirmation of a one-year extension of HOTO funding, federal partners will share their respective Performance Management Strategies to compare data sources and indicators in order to build linkages within the three HOTO
  • December 31 2012
 
  When planning for subsequent funding on the Oceans agenda, partners will collaborate to develop indicators and monitoring protocols in support of shared, intermediate-level outcomes.
  • Contingent upon renewal of funds