Dr. Peter Ross presents an online lecture titled “Environmental pollution in British Columbia: A short history of chemical conquest,” on Sunday, Oct. 17, 7-9 p.m. Photo supplied.

Dr. Peter Ross presents an online lecture titled “Environmental pollution in British Columbia: A short history of chemical conquest,” on Sunday, Oct. 17, 7-9 p.m. Photo supplied.

Comox Valley Nature lecture: Chemical compounds in our oceans

Comox Valley Nature hosts an online lecture by Dr. Peter Ross. The lecture, titled “Environmental pollution in British Columbia: A short history of chemical conquest,” is on Sunday, Oct. 17, 7-9 p.m.

Given the current guidelines for COVID-19 prevention, Comox Valley Nature has made arrangements to have a live, online webinar for Peter’s presentation.

To register, go to: https://bit.ly/3af4E7K

Canada enjoys the longest coastline in the world, with 229,000 kilometres spanning three oceans. This raises fundamental questions about how best to understand, let alone protect, marine biota from the complex blend of chemicals used, lost, or disposed of, in consumer or industry activities. With an estimated 500,000 chemicals on the market, this is a daunting challenge for scientists, regulators and resource managers. Considering that 80 per cent of ocean pollutants originate from land, the generation of data that helps us track contaminants back to their source will underpin solution initiatives. Raincoast is now launching a new community-oriented water pollution program – Healthy Waters – that will track priority pollutants from land to sea.

This will serve a gap in regulatory and jurisdictional boundaries, and enable Indigenous nations and communities to better manage pollutants within their area of interest and beyond. Dr. Ross will provide a short history of pollution in British Columbia, and present examples of topical concerns including hydrocarbons, PCBs and microplastics, all under the mantra of healthy salmon, whales and people.

Ross is a senior scientist at Raincoast Conservation Foundation in British Columbia, where he is launching a new Healthy Waters Initiative: Healthy Waters Program – Raincoast Conservation Foundation. He is an internationally recognized ocean pollution expert, having published over 160 scientific articles and book chapters on the fate and effects of a variety of pollutants of concern in the world’s oceans. He is a frequent advisor to conservation teams in different parts of the world, and has provided advice in support of chemical regulation, species at risk, ocean disposal and ocean health. He has long valued his partnerships with Indigenous communities working in support of safe traditional seafoods.

Dr. Ross is an adjunct professor at UBC Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and at the UVic School for Environmental Studies. He recently served as the vice-president of research at Ocean Wise, where he founded the Ocean Pollution Research Program, launched PollutionTracker (http://pollutiontracker.org/) and the Plastics Lab, a dedicated high-resolution facility working with industry, government agencies and academia on microplastic pollution. Prior to that, he served for 16 years as a federal Research Scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. His work with priority pollutants and microplastics has led to numerous invitations to advise industry, government, the G7, the European Union, and the OECD.

This is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn more about chemical contaminants in our oceans.

Comox Valley Nature meetings are open to the public, including children and youth. The lectures are free, though a $4 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.

Anyone interested in this lecture or participating in Comox Valley Naturalists Society activities can also contact us at http://cvnature.ca/

Comox ValleyNature