Presentation Abstract

Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem is a fjord located within the Salish Sea. Over the last 100 plus years, this marine environment became degraded from industrial pollution, a growing human population and the consequent environmental pressures. In 2017, an Ocean Watch report on the state of Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem’s coastal ocean environment was released. The report provided evidence-based knowledge on key topics or issues, including several recommended actions. The report was written in accessible language to convey why and how actions needed to be taken and many important actions were listed for governments. In order to advocate for recommended actions, the Ocean Watch Task Force (OWTF) was formed. Members are representatives of several of the local governments from throughout the Sound, as well as non-profit environmental organizations. The OWTF meets every two to three months to prioritize actions from the report based on what is most critical or achievable. Information is taken back to local governments by OWTF members. Today, the task force has supported numerous local initiatives, such as the development of the Marine Reference Guide and work towards the designation of Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem as a UNESCO biosphere region. Many actions recommended in the report have been addressed by local governments throughout the Sound, for example extension and upgrades of dike systems throughout Squamish using a Green Shores approach. The delivery of the evidence-based Ocean Watch report in accessible language with recommended actions provided tangible suggestions for policy makers to act on. The OWTF actively pushes actions based on science within local governments. This unique bridge between science and government demonstrates how scientifically supported policy can be actualized to protect coastal health and encourage recovery and restoration within the Salish Sea.

Session Title

Crossing the Science-Management Divide: Barriers and Bridges to Usable Science for the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Ecosystem-Based Management, Science & Policy

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_3649

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Ocean Watch reports and the Ocean Watch Task Force: a powerful science translation combination

Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem is a fjord located within the Salish Sea. Over the last 100 plus years, this marine environment became degraded from industrial pollution, a growing human population and the consequent environmental pressures. In 2017, an Ocean Watch report on the state of Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem’s coastal ocean environment was released. The report provided evidence-based knowledge on key topics or issues, including several recommended actions. The report was written in accessible language to convey why and how actions needed to be taken and many important actions were listed for governments. In order to advocate for recommended actions, the Ocean Watch Task Force (OWTF) was formed. Members are representatives of several of the local governments from throughout the Sound, as well as non-profit environmental organizations. The OWTF meets every two to three months to prioritize actions from the report based on what is most critical or achievable. Information is taken back to local governments by OWTF members. Today, the task force has supported numerous local initiatives, such as the development of the Marine Reference Guide and work towards the designation of Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem as a UNESCO biosphere region. Many actions recommended in the report have been addressed by local governments throughout the Sound, for example extension and upgrades of dike systems throughout Squamish using a Green Shores approach. The delivery of the evidence-based Ocean Watch report in accessible language with recommended actions provided tangible suggestions for policy makers to act on. The OWTF actively pushes actions based on science within local governments. This unique bridge between science and government demonstrates how scientifically supported policy can be actualized to protect coastal health and encourage recovery and restoration within the Salish Sea.