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Joint Public Advisory Committee Regular Session 14-03: “North America’s Coasts in a Changing Climate”

Sheraton Pentagon City 900 S Orme St.  Arlington, Virginia, USA 22204 Tel. (703) 521–1900
United States

6 and 7 November, 2014


In July 2014, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation Council—North America’s highest-level environmental authorities—announced that the CEC would focus on three priority areas for its 2015–2020 Strategic Plan:

  1. Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation;
  2. Green Growth; and
  3. Sustainable Communities and Ecosystems.

These priorities include trilateral engagement on coastal and marine issues. Climate change is affecting North America’s coasts. These effects are being felt in communities, the economy, and the environment. Conserving and restoring coastal ecosystems provide one of the few natural mechanisms for counteracting ocean acidification and other climate change impacts, as well as providing other key benefits such as carbon storage, food security, and protection from storm surges and flooding.

This Joint Public Advisory Committee meeting brings together scientists, regional leaders, policy experts, nongovernmental organizations and the public to discuss issues, challenges, and opportunities for developing strategies to address the effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems, trinational opportunities to enhance and restore those ecosystems, and ways for coastal communities to thrive as they face the current and future effects of extreme weather events, coastal erosion and rapid development. Meeting attendees will take an active role in identifying opportunities for collaboration and initiatives on coastal ecosystems that the three countries could develop or add value to under the CEC’s 2015–2020 Strategic Plan.

CEC Project

Recorded Webcast

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Day 1

Day 2


Thursday, 6 November 2014

South Ballroom

Registration of Participants


Opening and Introductory Remarks

Robert Varney
JPAC Chair


Presentation of Objectives, Methodology and Participants

Julian Portilla
Director, Masters Program in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies, Woodbury Institute of Champlain College


Keynote Presentation: North America’s Coasts in a Changing Climate

Amparo Martínez Arroyo
Director General, Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático (INECC)
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Session 1 – The Role of Blue Carbon Ecosystems in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

This session focuses on the service coastal ecosystems offer in capturing and storing carbon and the fate of that carbon when these ecosystems are either degraded/destroyed or restored/protected. The state of scientific research and the integration of blue carbon into carbon markets and national inventories will be presented. Case studies of research and community-level efforts to restore and protect blue carbon ecosystems in the three countries will illustrate some of the rapid advances being made to understand the importance of these ecosystems for climate change mitigation.

David Angus
JPAC member

Jorge Herrera
Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav), Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) de México
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Patrick Megonigal
Senior Scientist & Deputy Director
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
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Steve Emmett-Mattox
Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Programs
Restore America’s Estuaries
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Tom Wirth
GHG Coordinator
AFOLU, US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
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Gail Chmura
Associate Professor, Centre for Climate and Global Change Research, McGill University
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Israel Amezcua
Deputy Director of Climate Change
Pronatura Sur, A.C.
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Christine Hodgson
Project Watershed and North Island College
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Keeley O’Connell
Senior Project Manager
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Q&A with the panel and case studies presenters


Facilitated Break-out Sessions with Panelists and Participants, Part I

Hub – Montreal, McGill University:

  • Dante Torio
  • Lee van Ardenne
  • Paola Fajardo
  • William Peppey
  • Si Ming Li
  • Anna Parker
  • Karolane Caissy
  • Shayne Levoy
  • John Deane
  • Nicole McClaren
  • Caroline Seagle
Concourse Room

Lunch [provided]


Facilitated Break-out Sessions with Panelists and Participants, Part II




Session 2 – Challenges to Coastal Communities: Sea-level Rise

This session focuses on issues associated with sea-level rise and coastal erosion, including the impacts on urban communities and the insurance industry. It will also include a discussion on the opportunities and challenges with building greener infrastructure along the coasts. Case studies will highlight community-level experiences with sea-level rise and extreme weather events.

Bárbara Hernández
JPAC member

Amy Chester
Managing Director
Rebuild by Design
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Porfirio Álvarez Torres
Lead Investigator
Instituto Politécnico Nacional
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Jean-Pierre Savard
Oceanographer, Project Scientific Coordinator
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Paul Cough
Director, Oceans and Coastal Protection Division, Office of Wetlands
Oceans and Watersheds, USEPA
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Tim Dillingham
Executive Director
American Littoral Society
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António M. Baptista
Director, Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction
Oregon Health and Science University
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Facilitated Break-out Sessions with Panelists and Participants

Hub – Mexico City:

  • Alfonso de la Torre Vega – Comité Consultivo Nacional
  • Luis Yáñez Trujillo – Profesor-Investigador Titular, UAM
  • Mireya Ímaz Gispert – Coordinadora del Programa Universitario de Medio Ambiente (PNUMA) UNAM
  • J. Gerardo Saucedo Castañeda – HDR, Profesor Habilitado en la Universidad de Aix Marseille
  • Lorena Vera – Instituto Mora,
  • Mariana Boy Tamborrell – Semarnat

Plenary Session on Session 2—Break-out Conversations


Closing Remarks

Robert Varney
JPAC Chair

Friday, 7 November 2014

South Ballroom

Registration of Participants


Blue Carbon Researchers Meet and Greet Breakfast




Session 3 – Challenges to Coastal Communities: Ocean Acidification Impacts on Indigenous and Local Communities

As oceans become more acidic due to increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, scientists and communities are witnessing decreased shell production and other impacts on biological processes that are beginning to affect subsistence communities and threaten future commercial fisheries. This session will focus on examples of these impacts from the perspective of different coastal communities in North America.

Lindsay Brumwell
JPAC member

Christine Woodward
Samish Indian Nation
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Duane Smith
ICC Canada President and ICC Vice-Chair
Inuit Circumpolar Council
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Facilitated Break-out Sessions with Panelists and Participants


Plenary Discussion and Prioritization of Recommendations from Sessions 1–3


Update on Submissions on Enforcement Matters

Paolo Solano Tovar
Legal Officer
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Closing Remarks

Robert Varney
JPAC Chair




Field Trip to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) — Lunch (provided)


Marcela Orozco
Head of Unit, Advisory Groups and Private Sector Engagement
(514) 350-4305