Public Comment Period on Intent to Make a Determination
Connected Coast Underwater Fibre Optic Cable Installation Project – Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt

October 26, 2022 — The Department of National Defence must decide whether the proposed project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

To help inform this decision, the Department of National Defence is inviting comments from the public on the project and its potential effects on the environment. All comments received will be considered public. For more information, individuals should consult the Privacy Notice on the Registry website.

Written comments must be submitted by November 14, 2022 to:
Becky MacInnis, Environment Officer / MARPAC Formation Safety and Environment
Mailing Address:  Formation Safety and Environment, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Victoria, BC, Canada, V9A 7N2

The Proposed Project

The Connected Coast project plans to place subsea fibre-optic cable, stretching from Prince Rupert south to Vancouver, then around Vancouver Island. The project is managed and implemented by CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District, who together form the Connected Coast Partnership. The purpose of the cable is to provide high-speed internet access to rural and remote coastal communities.

Approximately 420 meters of the 3500 kilometer cable will pass through an existing Section 16 Map Reserve that the Department of National Defence (DND) has for their own underwater cable. The Connected Coast Cable would cross through the Section 16 Map Reserve and over DND's cable near the Fairwinds Landing Site, off Andover Road in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island.

Approximately 370 m of previously laid 30mm split pipe, 130 m of 60 mm split pipe and associated conduit will be removed either at low tide in intertidal areas, or using float bags attached with the aid of divers in subtidal areas. The split pipe and conduit will then be reinstalled by divers, in the alignment approved by DND, in the subtidal area. The cable will be laid directly on the seabed with no trenching or dragging.

Document Reference Number: 1

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