The Gitga’at First Nation and LNG Canada announced on Thursday that Gitga’at First Nation will construct and operate a new Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility in Hartley Bay, having finalized the terms of a financial agreement with LNG Canada.
The Response and Research Facility will support marine safety, research and monitoring in Gitga’at territory, as well as the protection of the coastal environment.
The Gitga’at First Nation is part of the Coastal First Nations alliance which includes the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola.
“We are excited to be building a Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility located in the heart of our territory in Hartley Bay,” said Arnold Clifton, chief councillor of the Gitga’at First Nation. “The facility will allow us to continue to conduct world-class research and monitoring programs, improve our marine safety and response capabilities, and ensure we have continued opportunities for our members to live and work in their home community.”
The Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility will consist of a shore-based structure, a research vessel, and communications equipment, and will be staffed by trained Gitga’at employees.
These staff will work in collaboration with federal and provincial agencies to provide front-line support for marine emergencies, and will undertake research and monitoring programs in Gitga’at territory. Gitga’at will design and construct the facility, and will be responsible for its ongoing operations and maintenance.
LNG Canada will provide financial support as committed in the Impact Mitigation and Benefit Agreement written in 2014.
“We are very pleased to be delivering on this key commitment to Gitga’at First Nation outlined in our 2014 Agreement,” said Susannah Pierce, LNG Canada’s Director of Corporate Affairs. “This is a generational opportunity that will provide lasting benefits for all Gitga’at members and for northern British Columbia. Mutually beneficial partnerships like the agreement with Gitga’at have been at the heart of LNG Canada’s success.”
Both parties said they will provide further updates on the Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility their respective websites and online outlets.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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