Oceans20: Canada's Oceans Act Workshop Report

Oceans Act, Marine Protection
West Coast Environmental Law Association

In June 2017, over 80 stakeholders from across the country working in government, academia, industry, and the non-profit sector came together in Ottawa for the Oceans20: Canada's Oceans Act Workshop. The interdisciplinary workshop allowed participants from multiple sectors to share their knowledge, experience and expertise on Canada's Oceans Act, marking the 20th anniversary of this flagship ocean law. The panelists, discussions, questions, and breakout groups sparked compelling conversations and helped to identify barriers and opportunities to improve marine protection strategies.

The aim of this interdisciplinary workshop was to build a shared understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the Oceans Act, to uncover lessons from our own experiences and from other jurisdictions, and to provide a forum to discuss the enabling conditions needed to successfully achieve Canada’s ocean goals, for 2020 and beyond.This report summarizes key messages which emerged from these discussions.

The Oceans20 workshop was hosted by West Coast Environmental Law Association (WCELA) in partnership with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Ecology Action Centre, with support from Oceans 5 and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The workshop report was prepared by Mari Galloway, Maryann Watson, Linda Nowlan and Georgia Lloyd-Smith of WCELA.

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