Proceedings of the 2007 Georgia Basin Puget Sound Research Conference
Environment Canada and the Puget Sound Action Team (PSAT), as co-hosts of the 8th biennial Georgia Basin Puget Sound (GBPS) Research Conference, are pleased to present on-line the Proceedings of the 2007 Georgia Basin Puget Sound Research Conference.
The Georgia Basin Puget Sound (GBPS) Research Conference series identifies a biennial interdisciplinary conference focused on the status of the transboundary GBPS region, pressures on the ecosystem and response approaches to emergent issues. The Research Conference series is now recognized by stakeholders as the pre-eminent interdisciplinary research conference focused on science, policy and action for the transboundary Georgia Basin Puget Sound region.
Prior to 2003, the research conference was focused on the United States portion of the ecosystem, and was hosted solely by U.S.-based agencies. Five biennial Puget Sound Research Conferences were held between 1993 and 2001. Starting with the Georgia Basin Puget Sound Research Conference in 2003, Environment Canada has partnered with the Puget Sound Action Team (State of Washington) to deliver this transboundary, co-hosted event.
Also referred to as the Salish Sea, after the Coast Salish people whose traditional territory corresponds with the region, the beauty and dynamism of this region is what attracts many to this place. That many have been drawn to this area is a blessing that brings with it the inevitable consequence of population growth. Currently, nearly 3 million people in Canada, and 4 million people on the U.S. side of the border, now live in this region. Looking at British Columbia in isolation, fully two-thirds of the population of this province lives in the Georgia Basin, an area that accounts for less than 3% of the provincial land base. This means the population density of the Georgia Basin is over twenty times the provincial average.
With this population growth has come an increase in the stress imposed on the natural ecosystem, human-built infrastructure, governance and other aspects of social systems. The specific environmental impacts are familiar to conference delegates and the environmental challenges well known. But the 2007 Georgia Basin Research Conference provided an opportunity to learn more about these impacts and challenges in the coming days, and to start to forge the collaborative transboundary solutions that will continue to address these challenges.
In these conference, we find assembled an impressive array of scientists, First Nations and tribal government leaders, resource managers, community leaders, policy makers, educators and students that together share a passion about this place and who bring that passion and enthusiasm for this region to the work they do, and to the efforts they undertake daily to address the challenges that face us. It is the conference delegates and participants who come together to share scientific findings and policy insights concerning the condition and management of the shared Georgia Basin Puget Sound region that are the power behind this conference, its reason for being and its possibility of happening.
Over 900 delegates attended and participated in the 2007 Georgia Basin Puget Sound Research Conference, convened at the Westin Bayshore Hotel and Conference Centre in Vancouver, March 26 – 29 2007. The conference program included three plenary sessions, thirteen concurrent periods, morning and afternoon networking breaks and daily luncheons. The program featured 164 poster presentations, 260 oral paper presentations, 50 regular sessions and 25 special sessions.
Special features of the conference program included a keynote address by world-renowned fisheries scientist Dr. Daniel Pauly, a First Nations Plenary Session and a dinner hosted by the Squamish First Nation, an ambitious “Greening the Conference” agenda, an exhibit of paintings from the “Islands in the Salish Sea” collection, a Poster Gala and Film Festival, and off-program field trips.
The 2007 Conference subtitle was “Knowledge for the Salish Sea: Toward Collaborative Transboundary Solutions”. The conference theme was: “Science, knowledge and action in support of a sustainable transboundary region”, with sub-themes focused on:
1. The interface between science and policy
2. Data gaps, knowledge gaps and the uncertainties that remain
3. Examples of partnerships for a changing environment
4. The role of humans as part of the ecosystem.
As delegates to the Georgia Basin Puget Sound Research Conference are well-aware of the fragile and imperiled nature of this transboundary ecosystem, the conference organizers took steps to reduce as much as possible the impact of conference-related activities on the environment. Key initiatives in this "greening the conference" agenda included:
• Working with the Westin Hotel to reduce the environmental impacts associated with food and beverage catering for the approximately 1000 delegates over four days.
• Working with Offsetters.ca and BC Hydro to make the conference a "carbon neutral" event.
• Encouraging delegates to minimize transportation impacts by offering a charter bus service along the Olympia / Vancouver corridor and facilitating a ride-sharing program.
• Taking steps to reduce inputs and waste associated with the production of the conference program, delegate's kits, abstract book and conference proceedings.
We would like to thank several individuals and organizations that worked together to create a conference of impressive scale that we hope delegates found enjoyable, informative and uplifting. While this has been a significant undertaking, it has been made very enjoyable by having the kind of support and assistance we have benefited from. To our conference co-sponsors, without who we could not have mounted a conference of this scale and depth, thank you. To our Conference Secretariat at the University of Washington (Jan Kvamme, Debra Bryant, Mary Jane Shirakawa and Kris Rose), thank you. We thank the Conference Advisory Committee for their good counsel and assistance. And thanks also to our colleagues and co-workers in our respective agencies – Environment Canada and the Puget Sound Action Team – especially Mary Beth Bérubé, Rosalie Abrecinos, Greg Ambrozic, Zita Botelho, Shannon Bradley, Bronwen Geddes, Judy Kwan, Robyn McLean and Ruwan Samarakoon (Environment Canada), Hilary Culverwell, Stephanie Lidren and Colehour+Cohen (Puget Sound Action Team).
About the files
The proceedings papers, abstracts, transcripts of keynote addresses, session summaries and author biographies are in Portable Document Format (PDF). To view these files, you will need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader (version 5.0 or newer recommended).
The editorial/publication process
A peer review process is not a part of the material collected in these proceedings. The graphics and references in these papers appear as they were originally submitted by the authors. If you have difficulty viewing the graphics, please contact the author for a higher quality graphic. If a manuscript or extended abstract was not submitted for publication in the Proceedings, a short abstract is included. Author contact information and web links were current at the time presenters provided their information. Please contact the author if you have difficulty linking to a web resource. We encourage you to contact the authors/presenters for further information and updates on any of the material presented in the proceedings.
If you are interested in further information on the shared Georgia Basin-Puget Sound ecosystem we encourage you to visit the conference hosts via their web sites: Puget Sound Partnership www.psp.wa.gov
Georgia Basin Action Plan www.pyr.ec.gc.ca/georgiabasin/
Proceedings updates and links to past Research Conference Proceedings are available from the Puget Sound Partnership website.
Telephone: (360) 725-5464
Telephone: (250) 472-4316