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Collaboration to Restore Contaminated Ecosystems

The final L-SETAC Southern Ontario Pub Night of spring 2015 was held on 16 April at Emma’s Back Porch in Burlington. Ruth Hull, a Senior Scientist and Ecological Risk Assessment Specialist at Intrinsik Environmental Sciences in Mississauga and a long-time member of SETAC, presented a talk entitled “Collaboration to Restore Contaminated Ecosystems – We Need to Talk,” which generated just that – a lively discussion in the pub. It even included insightful comments from Peter Beckett, Associate Professor at Laurentian University, who spoke about his experience in the Sudbury regreening program and his involvement in the Sudbury Area Risk Assessment. Ruth spoke about the need for early and ongoing stakeholder collaboration in restoration projects in order to ensure their success and to take advantage of various opportunities that may arise from that collaboration. She used examples of promising restoration approaches from the Canadian Lower Columbia Management Program and spoke about stages of restoration, from assessment to restoration. She stressed that collaboration and trust with the various stakeholders is necessary to undertake a successful ecosystem restoration. Ruth also focussed on the need for landscape-scale approach to ensure that the resulting restored landscape has the proper habitat to accommodate a wide range of biodiversity, as well as the restoration of an ecosystem that is “like for like” to the one prior to disturbance. She concluded the night by demonstrating the benefit of being a SETAC member. She got her first two jobs through the networking opportunities provided by SETAC and that started a 20+ year perfect attendance at the SETAC North America meeting. -Submitted by François Prévost

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