Fin Donnelly

Founder & Chair, Rivershed Society of British Columbia

From 1990 to 2000, he made 14 environmental marathon swims, covering more than 3,200 kilometres in BC’s rivers, lakes and ocean; including twice swimming the 1,400 km length of the Fraser River in 1995 and 2000 to draw attention to the declining health of these water bodies and to encourage communities to engage in environmental advocacy.

Fin served as a member of Coquitlam City Council from 2002-2009 and as Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam and New Westminster-Coquitlam from 2009-2019. While in the House of Commons he founded the All-Party Oceans Caucus.

As NDP Fisheries & Oceans critic, Fin introduced many bills to protect West Coast waters including legislation to ban oil tankers off BC’s north coast; transition West Coast open-net salmon farms to land-based, closed containment and ban the importation of shark fins to Canada, which became law in 2019.
In 1997, Fin was honoured with the name Iyim Yewyews, which means Blackfish, Orca or strong swimmer, by the Squamish Nation, for his stewardship work.

Fin has a Philosophy degree from the University of Victoria. He grew up in Port Moody and lives in Coquitlam with his wife Lynda.

Keynote Speaker Thursday @ 9:45am

Abraham Francis

Environmental Science Officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne- Environment Program

Abraham Francis has a BS in Microbiology, 2014, and MS in Natural Resources, 2019, from Cornell University. His past experiences include community empowerment, engagement, and research with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and a variety of other community-based organizations. His Masters’ Thesis focused on applied research to develop a biocultural land stewardship strategy for existing and newly settled Native American Land Claims on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, Akwesasne. His research interests are at the intersection of environmental studies, Indigenous methodologies, community engagement, education, health, social services, law, and cultural foundations as a means for empowerment and healing within Indigenous Communities.

Keynote Speaker Thursday @ 9:00am

Lawrence Gunther

President, Blue Fish Canada

In 2012 Lawrence Gunther founded “Blue fish Canada”, a charity dedicated to water quality, fish health, and informing and inspiring the next generation of conservation-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Having earned his Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, Lawrence is now North America’s only blind conservationist, outdoor writer, podcaster, blogger, film maker and TV host. He’s a frequent contributor to Outdoor Canada Magazine, where you can also find episodes of his weekly podcast “Blue Fish Radio”. His award-winning documentary “What Lies Below” currently airs on CBC’s Documentary Channel.

Jérôme Marty

Project Director, Council of Canadian Academies

Jérôme Marty is a project director at the Council of Canadian Academies in Ottawa where he has been working at the interface between science and policy. His current work at the CCA involves 2 main topics, one the links between natural disasters prevention and climate adaptation and the second on circular economy. Prior to joining the CCA in 2016, Jérôme held positions as a research scientist at the St. Lawrence River Institute, as director of environment in a large consulting firm (WSP Canada), and as a science advisor at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Jérôme is a past President of the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) and the Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL). He is a Board member of Watershed Canada and a member of several scientific advisory committees working on water science and governance. In 2019, he became the Chair of Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE) and was nominated on the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission (IJC). As a freshwater expert, he continues to advise governments on water related issues. When not working, he can be found biking, paddling with his family, or playing accordion.

Keynote Speaker Wednesday @ 12:00pm

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