Sunday, 3 November

  • Community Engagement: A Growing Tradition at SETAC North America Annual Meetings

Thursday, 7 November

  • SETAC Connects! A New and Exciting Event at SETAC Toronto

Community Engagement: A Growing Tradition at the SETAC North America Annual Meeting

Sunday | 12:45 p.m.–4:30 p.m. | Cost: US$15

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure.

A key value of SETAC is to stimulate knowledge sharing. The Community Engagement Event at the SETAC North America annual meeting is an amazing way in which SETAC engages with the public to share knowledge in the local community. This event allows us to share the science about which we are so passionate, learn something about the local community where we host the meeting, and break down barriers through direct connections with the public. The Toronto Community Engagement event promises to be worth showing up early for!

What to Expect

  • Tour of one of Toronto’s biggest green infrastructure projects, a $1.2 billion remediation project.
  • Interact with the public and the scientists and engineers involved in the project.
  • Discuss with researchers regarding what they’re learning about inputs of plastics in one of Canada’s most urbanized rivers.

In Toronto, we have planned a community engagement event that includes a tour of one of the biggest green infrastructure projects in Toronto’s history. To adapt to climate change, Toronto is upgrading the connection of the highly urbanized Don River to Lake Ontario with the creation of a new naturalized river mouth. In addition to flood protection, this project also aims to rehabilitate the local aquatic ecosystem, which is part of the Toronto and Region Area of Concern, (a designation under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement). A special session on the Toronto Flood Protection Project (TFPP) has been proposed for SETAC Toronto, so make sure to check toronto.setac.org for updates.

Bowl of plastic fragments

Photo credit: Chelsea Rochman

The Sunday afternoon, SETAC-sponsored engagement event allows a first-hand look at the scale and complexity of this $1.2 billion remediation project, and offers a chance for the public and SETAC members to interact with the scientists and engineers involved. In addition, the Don River (the river with the highest percentage of surrounding urban area of any river in Canada) is the site of a trash boom, which has been revealing a lot about the plastic debris that is entering our waterways. Representatives from the University of Toronto trash team will be at the event to answer questions about what they have been learning from the boom, operated by Ports Toronto, and discuss their research and programming.

If you have experience in remediation projects, groundwater and sediment toxicology, science communication, flood risk and hydraulic modeling, climate change resiliency, environmental engineering, or human health or ecological risk assessment, then please consider coming out to lend your expertise to answer questions from the participating citizens and local community organizations.

Tentative Schedule

Time Description
12:45 p.m. Meet Waterfront Toronto representatives at the conference center – a shuttle from the convention center will be provided for SETAC attendees only
1:00 p.m. Waterfront Toronto will conduct a walking tour of the naturalization project focusing on the scientific insights being gained from the trash boom in the Don River
2:30 p.m. Social meet and greet
3:00 p.m. View the model of the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection project and hear from representatives of Waterfront Toronto; interact (including Q&A) with various community groups from the Toronto area

Thanks to Our Sponsor

University of Toronto Trash TeamUniversity of Toronto Trash Team

SETAC Connects! A New and Exciting Event at SETAC Toronto

Thursday | 9:00 a.m.–5:45 p.m. | Exhibit Hall

A special SETAC Connects Poster Corner will take place from 4:20 p.m.–5:00 p.m. to highlight collaborations and sharing lessons learned.

SETAC is pleased to announce SETAC Connects, an event in celebration of partnerships between SETAC scientists and groups engaged in various forms of citizen science, science coordination and science communication. SETAC Connects will be held on the last day of the annual meeting and promotes a range of topics, including amazing discoveries, invaluable partnerships, opportunities for funding, connecting people to data, inspiring projects connecting citizens to science, and more. The following groups will have a booth and be available for conversations with attendees throughout the day and include:

  • Canadian Environmental Law Association
  • EcoSpark
  • Environmental Defense
  • Enviropod
  • Fatal Light Awareness Program
  • NOAA Marine Debris Program
  • OceanWise
  • Ontario Rivers Alliance
  • Plastic Ocean Project
  • Pollution Probe
  • Swim, Drink, Fish
  • Toronto Zoo
  • Trent University – International Institute for Environmental Studies
  • United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health
  • University of Toronto Trash Team

In addition, there are several other citizen science and science communication sessions scheduled for the SETAC Toronto meeting, so plan to stay until the end of the day on Thursday! See the SETAC Toronto session listing for more details.

Interested in Highlighting Your Project or Group?

There are many opportunities for scientists to partner with groups, including environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), citizen science groups, intergovernmental groups and others collaborating with scientists on environmental issues. By connecting distinct groups with a range of priorities, SETAC Connects can help leverage existing resources and research to creatively address new and challenging environmental issues.

Do you have a group or project you would like to see involved? Do you want to be a part of our event and share your experiences? Please email Lisa Erdle. Participation is free.