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Coastal Zone Canada 2014 Conference

posted May 31, 2014, 7:44 PM by SOS SaveOceanScience

Conference Overview


Fox Point, Nova Scotia in 2013 (photo by Alexi Westcott - left)
and in 1987 (painting by Carolyn Poel - right)

The Coastal Zone Canada 2014 Conference, to be held from June 15 to 19, 2014, will mark the 20th anniversary of the first CZC conference. CZC 2014 will be held at the World Trade and Convention Centre (WTCC) in the beautiful and historic coastal city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it all began in 1994.

Canada is a coastal nation, boasting more than 240,000 kilometres of coastline, more than any other country in the world. Over seven million Canadians live in coastal areas, on the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Arctic and the Great Lakes, many of whom are directly dependent on the coastal resources and tourism to earn a living. In so many ways, healthy coasts benefit all Canadians. Yet human impacts on our oceans and coasts go well inland from the coastal zone, and our activities many kilometres away can ultimately have profound effects on the coast. Coastal zone ecosystems are and economies are exceedingly vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards; we are already witnessing changes that are impacting the lives and livelihoods of many Canadians.

The biennial Coastal Zone Canada conference is the leading interdisciplinary forum held for professionals from across Canada and around the world to meet and discuss all aspects of coastal and ocean management. The 2014 conference theme, Our Coasts: Legacies and Futures, recognizes that our past choices and decisions have led us to where we are today, both positive and negative. The theme also recognizes that opportunities abound to influence and shape the future. Our choices today will determine which future path we will tread. We are all accountable to step up and take action for the future we want and need.

Our coastal zones are complex – from the physical and biological facets, to the human, cultural and social dimensions, to the complexity of regulation and jurisdiction. In the context of our main conference theme and looking at the past, at our present, and to the future, the nine sub-themes listed below are the primary topics envisioned for contributed sessions and discussion:
1. Blue Economy: Working Waterfronts, Coastal Infrastructure and Resource Management
  • Nurturing coastal and ocean economies
  • Community-based economic development, tourism and recreation
  • Accelerating blue innovations in support of an ocean-based economy
  • Coastal infrastructure for trade, tourism and transportation
  • Working waterfronts
  • Resource management and marine uses: fisheries, aquaculture, tidal and wind power, marine transportation, oil and gas exploration and development, etc.
.2. Coastal Communities: Social and Human Dimensions of the Coast
  • Cultural and social importance of the coasts, coastal access
  • The human dimension of coastal change
  • Ecosystem ties to human health and/or community health
  • Community innovation
  • Role of politics and/or government
3. Environmental Impacts: Climate Change, Human-Induced Challenges and Community Responses
  • Environmental change – ocean acidification, storm surges, flooding, sea level rise
  • Community vulnerability, preparedness, adaptation, impacts of climate change
  • Coastal industries – vulnerability, preparedness, adaptation, impacts of climate change
  • Water quality, pollution threats, invasive species
  • Managing and adapting to coastal change
4. A Focus on the Arctic: Ecological, Social, Economic and Political Change
  • The human dimension of change, cultural and social impacts
  • Development (shipping, oil and gas, tourism, etc.)
  • Rate of climate change in the Arctic, changes in sea ice and related ecosystems
  • Sovereignty
5. Governance, Policy and Law-Making: Managing our Coasts and Oceans
  • Policy, decision-making
  • Marine environmental law
  • Co-management, integrated management, Marine Protected Areas
  • Aboriginal leadership and stewardship
  • Community-based leadership, partnerships, programs and activities
  • Federal, provincial and municipal roles, and opportunities for cooperation
  • Regional and international trans-boundary cooperation
  • Linking science and management
6. Knowledge and Information: Data Use and Accessibility, Information Management
  • Data collection, accessibility and integration
  • Local ecological knowledge, traditional ecological knowledge
  • Advances in and application of remote sensing, innovative uses of data, integration of data for multiple uses
  • Mapping technologies, ecosystem classifications
  • Human use mapping and footprint analysis
  • Data and information management, open data
7. Marine and Coastal Ecosystems: Understanding the Complexity of Biological and Physical Coastal Environments
  • Biodiversity conservation and protection, ecosystem services
  • Near shore morphology and dynamic coastal behaviour, sediment transport, etc.
  • Shifting shorelines, adaptation, vulnerability, coastal resilience
  • Scientific exploration and research
  • Ecosystem monitoring, indicators, reporting on status and trends
  • Great Lakes ecosystems, watersheds
8. Security and Risk Management: Managing Uncertainty
  • Risk assessment, risk-based management
  • Maritime security, border security, national defense
  • Marine accident preparedness, rescue services
9. Social Media and Outreach: Reaching and Educating the Public Domain
  • Making science available to public audiences
  • Innovative uses of new technologies
  • Creative outreach and education
Through an exciting program of interactive sessions, debates and discussions, the Coastal Zone Canada 2014 Conference aims to:
  1. share knowledge, experience, and expertise in the sub-theme areas above;
  2. stimulate change of mindsets and open the door to new models for cooperation, policies and management; and
  3. emphasize the urgency for action and revitalize commitment to our coastal areas.
Each conference contributor and participant will be asked to consider the following questions:
  1. What does the ideal future look like to you? Where are the opportunities? What future will you choose?
  2. What role will you play and how can you influence the present and the future? How do we empower, inspire, engage, and revitalize?
  3. How do we deal with the unexpected? What are the risks? How do we prepare? How can we learn from the past to prepare for the future?
Coastal Zone Canada 2014 will bring together community representatives, scientists and researchers, engineers, planners, government, industry representatives, youth and early-career professionals, local and international non-government organizations, and other members of civil society. This wealth of experience, knowledge and wide-ranging perspectives promises to generate lively discussion, insights and the sharing of ideas. We will examine progress and achievements in coastal and ocean management that are attempting to enhance the protection of coastal resources while at the same time addressing the complexity of multiple use and economic development. Participants will learn about innovative technologies, best practices, governance approaches, programs and policies at the local, national and international levels.

The program will include prominent national and international speakers and will feature both plenary and concurrent sessions, poster and interactive sessions, technical tours, workshops, social events and many networking opportunities.

We look forward to welcoming you to Halifax and your contributions to the program for an exciting, stimulating, and inspiring Coastal Zone Canada conference.

Download the CZC 2014 Conference Overview and the Conference Poster in PDF format.