About Us

Changes to our organization’s structure now reflect the important St. Lawrence and Great Lakes navigation corridor. The new Central and Arctic Region includes Quebec, Ontario and the Arctic.

The Canadian Coast Guard provides essential maritime services in order to ensure the safety of mariners, to protect the marine environment, to facilitate maritime commerce and to promote Canada's sovereignty in Canadian waters. The Coast Guard has been innovative in adapting its activities in order to provide a high level of services year-round. Main areas of activity are:

Aids to Navigation and Waterways Management

  • design aids to navigation systems;
  • operate a system of floating, fixed, and electronic aids to navigation;
  • monitor the reliability and relevance of the aids to navigation system;
  • provide navigation safety information such as the Notices to Shipping and the Notices to Mariners;
  • monitor channel bathymetry by surveying commercial channels to identify the bottom conditions, as well as restrictions to safe navigation, and provide information to mariners (Shoals Notices);
  • provide water-depth forecasts in the commercial channels;
  • manage channel dredging;
  • maintain marine structures;
  • provide guidelines on channel design and use.

Icebreaking, Escorts and Flood Control

  • provide route assistance, ice-routing advice and ice information;
  • in partnership with the Canadian Ice Service, provide ice information to marine shipping;
  • resupply isolated Northern settlements with food, cargo and fuel when commercial services are not available;
  • manage flood control on the St. Lawrence River through the monitoring, prevention, ice booms and breaking up of ice jams;
  • respond to requests for icebreaking support and break out ice in harbours and ports;
  • support Arctic sovereignty.

Marine Communications & Traffic Services

  • manage vessel traffic by monitoring vessel movements and providing information services;
  • monitor for distress and emergency calls from vessels, and broadcast maritime safety information to mariners;
  • provide vessel screening to ensure vessels intending to enter Canadian waters request clearance and comply with applicable Canadian regulations;
  • manage an integrated marine traffic information system including the initiation of the emergency response network;
  • support maritime domain awareness by providing vessel movement information;
  • provide marine telephone call on a cost recovery basis.

Search and Rescue

  • to support the federal program led by the Departement of National Defence (DND), coordinate and manage the response to marine SAR cases;
  • operate in-shore rescue boats during the summer season;
  • work with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Environmental Response

  • as Federal Monitoring Officer, ensure an appropriate intervention or if need be, respond to reported marine pollution events;
  • ensure a consistent level of preparedness and response to ship sourced spills in Canadian waters;
  • ensure Environmental Response program personel are trained and exercised;
  • submit claims to polluters and/or the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund for costs end expenses related to marine pollution incidents.

Maritime Security

  • support on-water enforcement and responsiveness by providing marine expertise, well-equipped crews and vessels;
  • provide valuable vessel identification and tracking information to other federal departments;
  • provides crucial analyses of the movements of foreign and domestic vessels.

For more information on the Canadian Coast Guard, visit the national website.