Save our Seas and Shores PEI (a coalition of individuals, environmental and social justice groups, and organizations representing fishers and tourism operators) will mark World Oceans Week, which runs from June 1st to 8th with a symposium – Celebrating and Protecting the Gulf of St. Lawrence – at the PEI Farm Centre on Saturday, June 1st, from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.
The symposium will open with a poem by PEI’s Poet Laureate, Julie Pellissier-Lush.
Sylvain Archambault, co-founder of the St. Lawrence Coalition and biologist with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Québec, will present the keynote address, entitled “The Gulf of St. Lawrence, An Ecosystem Under Threat … In Need of Love”.
A panel of speakers will address The Diversity and Vulnerability of the Gulf: Biologist and Nature PEI President Rosemary Curley will talk about marine species at risk. Troy Jerome from Gaspé, Québec will provide the perspective of a Mi’gmaq community leader with a wealth of experience on environmental, energy and fishing issues. Producer Mary Gorman will present the newly-released short film, “The Vanishing Call of the Right Whale”, directed by Eliza Knockwood and narrated by Ethan Hawke.
A second panel, on Marine Protected Areas, Benefits and Challenges, will include Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, who will also provide an update on the Ecojustice lawsuit to protect the Gulf from risky offshore drilling in the Old Harry oil and gas prospect. Marine ecologist Irené Novaczek will speak about the Basin Head Marine Protected Areas, which illustrates the environmental challenges facing the inshore areas of the Gulf and the importance of MPAs. Bob Creed, Deputy Minister, Department of Fisheries and Communities, will speak about PEI’s current and future marine conservation areas.
The Gulf is a truly unique, diverse and rich ecosystem but it is threatened by many different factors: warming of the water, acidification, oxygen depletion, invasive species, pollution, habitat destruction, underwater noise and oil and gas exploration activities. While there is no single solution to such problems, marine protected areas do offer some hope.
Opportunities for questions from the audience and a refreshment break will be provided. This event is open to the public and there is no admission fee although donations, to help cover the costs of the event, will be gratefully accepted.
Saturday, June 1, 2019
PEI Farm Centre, 420 University Avenue, Charlottetown
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