The second OceanCanada Partnership conference was held in Vancouver from May 24-27 on the beautiful grounds of the University of British Columbia. The conference brought together more than 60 researchers, students and post-doctoral fellows, advisory board members, community and institutional partners to take stock of our activities and work towards an integrated research agenda. Through a series of panels and group discussions, round tables and workshops, the conference delegates identified the emerging threats, challenges, and opportunities facing Canada’s oceans and coastal communities, and began the difficult task of synthesizing research priorities.
Given the complexity of the subject matter, the intersecting issues and disciplinary approaches, the conversations were lively and at times challenging. By the end of conference three core themes had emerged as focal points for further discussion and research: access to resources (environmental, economic, and social); governance and management of Canada’s oceans and coastal regions; and the changing ocean environment. These themes were identified as crosscutting with the understanding that each issue has impacts and implications on the others. Furthermore, each theme is being considered in light of the issue of “community well-being” with the goal of making specific policy and scientific recommendations for improving the lives of people in coastal areas. In the coming weeks and months, OceanCanada researchers and collaborators will be working together in multi-disciplinary teams to scope out research agendas and plans for these themes.