News / Halifax

Bedford Institute of Oceanography nets $3.5-million in funding for structure upgrades

Leaky windows, drafty rooms and roof issues are set to get an overhaul at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) thanks to new millions in government funding.

Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, toured the BIO Monday after announcing the facility would see about $3.5 million as part of the government’s $5.8 billion plan to rebuild federal infrastructure across Canada over the next two years.

“Everytime I come here I’m always impressed with the work that’s done,” Shea said after walking through the BIO’s dozens of corridors and labs to speak with researchers, handle a live lobster in a fish tank, and examine ongoing projects.

“They develop new technologies, they’re studying all sorts of things that affect the fisheries and … informs government policy.”

Sherry Niven, science director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) at the institute, said the funds allow them to do work in the older buildings, some parts of which are more than 50 years old.

The fish lab area, multiple leaky windows, old doors, humidity issues, and expansion of a Natural Resources Canada sediment core storage faciltity are all areas to be improved, Niven said, as well as flat parts of the roof where this year’s winter has dumped a lot of snow and ice.

“Mostly maintenance to make our home here more comfortable for our scientists to work so they can focus,” Niven said.

Shea said $3 million will be taken from the fisheries department, while about $500,000 is coming from Natural Resources Canada for the sediment area.

Stephen Locke, director of the Geological Survey of Canada, said their funding means they can finally expand the storage area for their huge amount of sediment samples that date back to the 1970s.

On the tour, the minister examined the current cold room where hundreds of sediment cores from Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans towered to the ceiling.

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