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Stormy seas

Major symposium to address the future of the North Atlantic Ocean

Campus and Community

By Janet Harron

For a New Earth (FANE), in collaboration with the Royal Society of Canada and with support from the Ocean Frontier Institute, is hosting a two-day event on the future of the North Atlantic Ocean in an era of climate change at Memorial University from March 15-16.

Friday, March 15

The event will kick off on Friday, March 15, at 5 p.m at the Suncor Energy Hall, School of Music, with a cinematic and musical prelude, Seafaring the North Atlantic.

The evening will feature a screening of NFB shorts on the Atlantic Ocean, followed by a performance of composer Andrew Staniland’s The Ocean is Full of its Own Collapse (based on Lisa Moore’s novel February) by Duo Concertante. Monica Walsh will read from the book.  

This event is open to the public but registration is required at foranewearth.org.

Saturday, March 16

The Future of Oceans Symposium will begin on Saturday, March 16, at 9 a.m. at Memorial’s Signal Hill Campus.

This is an invitation-only public engagement initiative (live-streamed and live-tweeted for the public), bringing together a diverse group of academics, scientists, students, community leaders, journalists and activists to think creatively about how best to steward the North Atlantic.

The morning of the symposium will be devoted to strategic keynote addresses. At lunch, Mary Denniston, Nunatsiavut Government, will explain the Imappivut initiative for Indigenous leadership in ocean governance in Labrador.

The afternoon will be a World Café-style discussion. The symposium will conclude at 3:30 p.m. with an art exhibit, curated by the Gerald Squires Art Gallery, a reception and a performance of classical music by Dr. Laura Loewen of the University of Manitoba and Dr. Jane Leibel of Memorial’s Faculty of Music.

Outcomes

The intended outcome of this event is a white paper that will outline a set of ecological and policy recommendations for government and industry.

Topics that will be addressed throughout the symposium include aquaculture; the warming and acidification of cold-water oceans; rising seas and the submersion of human and non-human environments; sustainable fisheries; the symbolism of the sea in Atlantic Canadian history and culture; ocean waste and pollution (and what to do about it); the unique features of North Atlantic ecology; and the social and political obstacles to healthy oceans.


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