National Aerial Surveillance Program – Protecting Our Waters
(MONTAGE: Aerial images of Canada’s ocean and Great Lakes’ coasts. MUSIC: Theme up, then under narration)
Title: Protecting Our Waters
Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world—more than 200,000 kilometres on three coasts and the five Great Lakes.
That’s a lot of water. A lot of shipping traffic. And a lot of potential for ship-source marine pollution, like the illegal dumping of oil.
The job of detecting this pollution belongs to Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program, or NASP.
(Title Screen and the interior of the Transport Canada Dash 8 pollution surveillance aircraft)
The crew on each NASP aircraft includes Transport Canada Aircraft Services personnel, and a Marine Aerial Reconnaissance Team made up of Transport Canada and Environment Canada specialists.
Joining the forces of these two federal departments on surveillance flights reduces costs and concentrates expertise.
NASP staff search for ship-source pollution, participate in security patrols, search-and-rescue operations, and report ice conditions.
(Map of the MART Regional Field offices)
The NASP now includes three Marine Aerial Reconnaissance Teams or MART located strategically across Canada: MART Pacific in Vancouver, MART Central and Arctic based in Ottawa and collocated in the summer to Iqaluit, and MART Atlantic in Moncton.
MART activities are an important pollution deterrent, forcing would-be polluters to think twice before illegally dumping at sea.
Each surveillance aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art remote-sensing gear, including side-looking airborne radar, ultraviolet infrared line scanner and a Canadian-made electro-optical infrared camera system.
Evidence gathered with this equipment helps enforce various domestic and international laws. In fact, MART personnel have helped successfully prosecute many maritime polluters.
When pollution spills occur, MART personnel confirm the location, record the spill, communicate with the vessel and report to the Canadian Coast Guard regional operation center. The information is then distributed to the various agencies charged with determining whether a response or investigation is required.
The National Aerial Surveillance Program maximizes every hour in the air—and the full capabilities of its technology and personnel—to make Canada a world leader in marine pollution reconnaissance, and to protect Canada’s ocean resources and fragile marine ecosystems for the benefit of coastal communities and all Canadians.
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