June 20th, 2023
The Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific was thrilled to help organize the 2023 Coastal Zone Canada (CZC) biennial conference last week from June 11-15 in the Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Territory (Victoria, B.C.). The conference was a UN Ocean Decade endorsed activity that brought together a diverse mix of ocean professionals from across Canada and beyond.
The overarching goal of connecting Canadians to the coast was exhibited across a wide network of ocean themes from marine spatial planning, conservation, and climate change solutions, to innovation, technology, and data management. Although the focus of Coastal Zone Canada is centered around Canadian solutions for marine management professionals, global delegates joined from as far away as Barbados to learn more about our coastal processes and networking capabilities.
Over 500 delegates participated in plenary sessions, moderated panels, poster sessions, and break-out groups, as well as side events including evening socials, a wildlife and ecological boat tour, and a guided cultural walking tour hosted by the Songhees Nation. We are grateful for the Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Dancers for welcoming us to their territory and closing off the events in a good way.
A key priority of the conference was to highlight the importance of building greater connections as we collectively address global hazards to work towards local solutions for our shared ocean. A unique aim at Coastal Zone Canada was connecting Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs), with mid-level (10-19 years of experience) and more accomplished professionals (20+ years) to come together in interdisciplinary and intergenerational spaces to create knowledge sharing experiences.
Thank you to the Coastal Zone Canada Association for organizing this successful event, the Victoria Conference Centre for hosting us in their incredible space, and all partners, sponsors, and delegates for attending and fostering these vital coastal connections. We hope to see you on Prince Edward Island for the next Coastal Zone Canada conference of 2025!