OOS 8 - Living at Water’s Edge: Shifting Human Patterns Impacting Coastal Ecosystems

Tuesday, August 7, 2012: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
A106, Oregon Convention Center
Mimi E. Lam, University of British Columbia
Bob R. Pohlad, Ferrum College
Mimi E. Lam, University of British Columbia
Living sustainably requires scaling down and putting into practice ESA’s Earth stewardship initiative, by mobilizing the local human communities needed to preserve Earth’s ecosystems. Of the diverse ecosystems inhabited by humans, coastal ecosystems highlight the governance challenges to balance both human utilization and preservation of ecosystem goods and services. Coastal habitats help prevent erosion, filter pollutants, and provide food, shelter, breeding areas, and nursery grounds for a variety of organisms. Dense human populations, migration trends, and burgeoning development pressures are adversely affecting the quality of coastal ecosystems. Nearly 3 billion people in coastal communities worldwide are subject to threats posed by global warming, such as hurricanes and sea level rise. To mitigate impacts to human health and food security from pollution, urbanization, transportation, fishing, and other activities in coastal zones, human patterns of use and non-use of coastal resources need to become more sustainable. Since antiquity, humans have lived adjacent to marine ecosystems, exploiting local aquatic resources for food, raw materials, and livelihoods. Pacific Northwest pre-contact indigenous communities sustained, for millennia, coastal ecosystems within a subsistence economy through traditional resource management and an environmental ethic predicated on the belief that humans and nature were inseparable. Today, human impacts on coastal ecosystems worldwide threaten to overwhelm Earth’s carrying capacity, as ecosystem relationships are not valued within the global economy of fishery commodities that is driving unsustainable development projects and industries. Marine biodiversity is degraded, species are endangered, and populations have declined, threatening aquatic ecosystems from the cumulative strain of myopic human consumption and activity in coastal regions. The session integrates three themes relevant to ecologists in preserving, utilizing, and sustaining life on Earth: 1. Ecology; 2. Communities; and 3. Policy. The Ecology theme focuses on sustainability and restoration research of marine uses, fisheries, and protected areas; the Communities theme concentrates on local action and education to engage coastal communities in participatory decision-making; and the Policy theme explores stakeholder engagement in diverse management arrangements of marine resources. The eight speakers will draw upon their unique expertise and experience to comment collectively on these three themes to identify what is needed to restore balance in human use and non-use of coastal resources. This session synthesizes ecological theory and practice in a way that renders the science understandable to resource users and regulators of human activities to facilitate collaborative governance and shifts to more sustainable human patterns in coastal and all ecosystems.
8:00 AM
 Living at Water’s edge: Connecting ecology, communities, and policy
Mimi E. Lam, University of British Columbia; Bob R. Pohlad, Ferrum College
8:20 AM
 Sea change: Historically based restoration and the sea ahead
Tony J. Pitcher, University of British Columbia
8:40 AM
 Mobilizing coastal communities to protect coastal ecosystems
Ana Elisa Pérez-Quintero, University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras and SEEDS
9:00 AM
 Re-visioning environmental learning to sustain communities
David B. Zandvliet, Simon Fraser University
9:40 AM
9:50 AM Cancelled
See more of: Organized Oral Session