Conference Participants Gain Insight Into Canada’s Environmental Enforcement Efforts

Site Visit Participants. By J. Lehane

On Wednesday, 22 June, during the 9th International Conference, participants embarked on site visits to local venues that provided significant and practical insights into environmental compliance and enforcement from a variety of angles.

One group of participants visited Port Metro Vancouver’s Delta Port and Canada Place where they learned about container control measures, inspection approaches, emergency response procedures and sustainability efforts from both port officials and Environment Canada colleagues. They also enjoyed lunch at Stanley Park and a visit to the Capilano Fish Hatchery where several participants spotted a bald eagle.

Another group visited the Pacific Wildlife Research Centre- Riefel Bird Sanctuary & Alaskan Area, where conservation officials described how they manage the administration of a designated National Wildlife Area (NWA) that overlaps with a Migratory Bird Sanctuary.  Key lessons in land-use management issues and cooperation were shared.

Bald Eagle by J. Lehane

Another group visited was to the Pacific Environmental Science Centre.  The Center, who works in partnership with B.C. Environment, Health Canada, Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the University of Victoria, provided fascinating insights into the investigation research done in tracking down the source of a whole host of environmental contamination.   The lab, which is equipped with some of the best technology in the world, is a powerful weapon in the fight against environmental pollution.

Participants later gathered at the Squamish Totem Hall for a Welcome Reception lead by the Randall Lewis of the Squamish People and the Mayor of Sqamish.  The group then visited the Squamish  Estuary and Wildlife Management Area, a fjord estuary, which provides habitat for numerous endangered species while allowing for continued traditional, recreational and industrial uses.

The Estuary, which was once victim to large-scale contamination, was carefully nursed back to health over a period of about ten years through dedicated collaboration amongst the local stakeholders.  The Squamish community played a significant leadership role in bringing this land back to its original glory.

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