Given the spread of COVID-19, we are postponing the RE3 event by a full year to 19-24 June 2021.
If you previously registered and/or had an accepted abstract, symposium, workshop or training course proposal, click here

Symposium affiliated with SWS - Ramsar Section
Convenor: Nick Davidson, Institute for Land, Water & Society, Charles Sturt University, Australia


Summary: Current approaches to wetland restoration, conservation and wise use have failed to stop global loss and deterioration of wetlands. Following the lead of indigenous cultures in recognizing the inherent rights of nature, including wetlands, the growing Rights of Nature movement may be the transformational paradigm shift needed to reverse current trends towards further climate destabilization, wetland and ecological loss and degradation, biodiversity loss, freshwater shortages, and resulting social upheavals. This symposium proposes a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Wetlands, thus providing a wetlands-focused response to the Rights of Nature movement as well as to the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice (2017) and will address how an ethical and legal paradigm shift could accelerate prioritization of wetland restoration and wise use. Rights of nature recognize the inherent right of natural systems and their biodiversity to exist and to avoid degradation of the resources that support them, as well as the ethical and legal responsibility that humans have to safeguard the interests and well-being of ecosystems. Rights of nature recognize the dependence of human health and well-being on maintaining healthy and holistic relationships with the natural world. The symposium will address why a Declaration on wetland rights is needed now, what the Declaration entails, how it differs from existing declarations, and how Ramsar, wetland scientists and scientific societies can utilize the Declaration to further restoration, conservation and wise use of wetlands globally. Examples from New Zealand, Columbia, Ecuador, India, Australia and United States will be referenced.

Symposium affiliated with SER
Convenor: Maria Strack, University of Waterloo


Summary: Wetlands cover at least 30% of the boreal forest in North America and provide a range of ecosystem functions from water management to carbon sequestration to habitat provision. Increasing development across the region results in wetland disturbance, with the largest area of disturbance cause by linear features. These linear features include roads, trails, pipelines and seismic lines, long linear cutlines across the landscape used for geologic exploration. Linear disturbances in wetlands are more likely to cause severe ecosystem alteration, compared to uplands, due to changes in local hydrology. Evidence is mounting that seismic lines crossing wetlands may not recover even after 40-50 years, with implications for carbon and greenhouse gas exchange and regional habitat use. In this symposium, we will explore the existing impacts of linear disturbance on boreal wetland ecology, hydrology, soil properties and carbon exchange, discuss best management practices to reduce the impacts of these disturbance, and introduce a range of restoration methods.

Symposium affiliated with SER
Convenor: Nick Wildman, MA Division of Ecological Restoration


Summary: The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) has a mission to restore and protect the Commonweath's rivers, wetlands, and watersheds for the benefit of people and the environment. The Commonwealth has over 3,000 dams, most of which have outlived their intended purpose. Dam removal restores a range of ecological processes and eliminates public safety threats from aging infrastructure. Sine the late 1990s, the removal of aging, low-head dams has been growing part of the DER's partnership-based work. In, 2015, the National Fish Wildlife Foundation awarded the Division a $4.5 million grant through the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program. Funding from this grant was matched with other funds to remove eight dam and initiate restoration designs for 12 other dams. The grant program also included support for the study of dam removal effects on riverine ecology, development of an innovative screening tool for future dam removal opportunities, and a program to provide training in dam removal science for university students. ln addition, six high-definition short films were produced to showcase how dam removal and healthy rivers impart resilient communities and how broad partnerships lead to local action. The films are effective tools foi increasing public avvareness of the social and ecological benefits offered by dam removal. The presentations in the symposium describe the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grant activities within the context of ecological restoration and climate change resiliency in Massachusetts. Attendees will learn about the social and ecological dimensions of dam removal addressed by this work.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Owen McKenna, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center


Summary: Climate and land-use change are two major drivers that are known to impact the abiotic and biotic processes of prairie-pothole wetland ecosystems. Many decades of long-term monitoring of prairie-pothole wetlands has led to the development of statistical and mechanistic models used to explore how these ecosystems are impacted by climate and land-use change at various spatial and temporal scales. The bulk of the current research has focused on the responses of prairie-pothole wetlands to changes in either climate or land use while hypothesizing synergistic interactions among the drivers on ecosystem processes. The objective of this symposium is to bring together researchers who are developing novel approaches to measuring the relative effects of climate and land-use change on different aspects of prairie-pothole wetland ecology. We aim to bring together a diverse set of scientists that are currently using different field and modeling techniques applied on many spatial scales to advance our understanding of how climate and land-use change interact to impact prairie-pothole wetlands. Wetlands, and the grasslands that surround them, have been highly modified throughout the Prairie Pothole Region and there is great potential for wetland restoration in the region. By increasing our understanding of how climate and land-use drivers interact to impact prairie-pothole wetlands, we can better inform land managers on how to take these interactions into account when prioritizing restoration efforts.

Symposium affiliated with SER
Convenor: Remy Chhem, University of Ottawa


Summary: Ecological restoration (ER) is often lauded as a solution to today’s environmental crises. As such, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) was recently declared in order to scale up restoration efforts to fight climate change, and enhance food and water security as well as biodiversity conservation, in alignment with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, amid country pledges to restore millions of hectares of degraded lands, there has been considerably little emphasis on the socio-political dimensions of restoration, including on crucial aspects of social equity. This panel examines potential trade-offs and as well as synergies among social and environmental goals in landscape restoration initiatives as these unfold in diverse geographies. Specifically, we ask: how do social equity or efforts to 'leave no one behind' figure in restoration agendas, and how are they positioned with respect to other restoration goals and objectives? Whose values are recognized and heeded in setting restoration priorities and agendas? Where do social exclusions based on gender, ethnicity, class or other intersecting factors of marginalization sit and how are they (re)produced within the institutions that govern restoration processes (e.g. decision-making processes, land and resource tenure systems)? Finally, how can monitoring approaches capture relevant social and environmental outcomes of restoration, and reconcile the needs of various actors operating across scales? We invite academics or practitioners from various disciplines and perspectives, working across socio-ecological systems (on forests, pastures, watersheds) and geographies, to contribute to the session.

Symposium affiliated with SWS/CLRA
Convenor: John Gunn, Laurentian University


Summary: Restoration of Industrial Landscapes represent an important opportunity for carbon sequestration as a climate mitigation strategy. For example, there are over 10 million ha of mining damaged lands that could be utilized for this purpose. The metal smelters in Sudbury, Canada, once the world’s largest sources of SO2 pollution, and now a UN recognized restoration site where air pollutants have been reduced by >95%, provide a unique 100,000 ha site to explore carbon sequestration and flux across whole ecosystems, where various remediation techniques have been used in wetlands, barren uplands, mine tailings storage areas and in lakes. A multi-disciplinary team of experts have used techniques that extend from gene expression and microbial ecology, to a range of various scale manipulations, to extensive surveys and remote sensing of change over a 40 year period in this research program. Researchers from Laurentian, Cornell, UQAM, Trent, Cambridge, Sherbrooke, and Queens universities have partnered with Vale Ltd., Glencore Ltd., OMECP, Can. For. Serv. and the City of Greater Sudbury to conduct this NSERC OCE project entitled “Landscape Carbon Accumulation following Emission Reductions (L-CARE)”. In addition, comparative studies for other national and international study sites will also be included in this symposium. 

Convenor: Martin Beaudoin Nadeau, Board member of Canadian Land Reclamation Association, Quebec Chapter, and CEO of Viridis Terra


Summary: The objectives of the symposium are to make the audience aware of:

  • The current rapid growth of demand for large-scale forest landscape restoration around the world;

  • The existence of innovative approaches and business models being developed by civil society and private sector organizations to allow the scale-up of restoration activities;

  • Large-scale approach can increase the production of different ecosystem services by restoring different vegetation types into an optimized mosaic, each polygon contributing to different objectives defined according to the environmental conditions and the socio-economic context;

  • These ecosystem services can range from biodiversity restoration, ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change mitigation, to agroforestry.

  • Large-scale approach permits the restoration of habitat of wide-range threatened species by creating ecological corridors between biodiversity hot spots;

  • The importance of taking into consideration all social, cultural, economic, and environmental aspects for optimal landscape restoration activities which is possible through the involvement of all stakeholders from local communities, private sector, NGOs, and all levels of government to ensure the successful institutionalization processes required by large scale landscape restoration activities.

The symposium will also address needs for more research on appropriate technologies, managerial practices and policies to accelerate the scale-up of restoration activities.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Sheel Bansal, U.S. Geological Survey


Summary: Typha (cattail) is an iconic wetland plant found worldwide. An abundance of wind-dispersed seeds allows Typha to colonize wetlands across great distances, and its rapid growth rate, large stature, and aggressive clonal propagation can result in dense monotypic stands. These stands have considerable impact on local fauna and flora, biogeochemical cycling, and wetland hydrology, which correspondingly affects wetland functions. Over recent decades, the distribution and abundance of Typha in North America has increased due to anthropogenic disturbances to wetland hydrology and increased nutrient loads. In addition, vigorous non-native and hybrid taxa have exacerbated the spread of Typha. The expansion of Typha has required widespread management, albeit control is often short-lived or ineffective. Despite the negative impacts, Typha can provide beneficial ecosystem services including bioremediation to reduce pollution and providing biofuel feedstocks. 

Despite the ubiquitous distribution and invasive characteristics of Typha, a comprehensive review of the plant was lacking. To address this information gap, a diverse team of researchers of Typha collaborated to produce a synthesis and review paper that details the impacts of Typha throughout North America. In the proposed symposium, we will cover several topics directly relevant to Typha that were addressed in the review paper. The talks will be based on the most current scientific research on Typha and its management. Our goal is to educate restoration professionals and wetland scientists about the importance of Typha and highlight the need for continued research on invasive wetland plants, which falls directly in-line with the conference theme Reclaim, Restore, Rewild.

Convenor: Sebastian Gutierrez-Pacheco, Ph.D. Student


Summary: Paludiculture has been aimed at adapting drained wetlands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and if possible, to allow the accumulation and extraction of biomass under a cyclical and sustainable approach. Sphagnum farming is one of many strategies for this purpose.

The use of raw sphagnum fiber as well as a culture medium is an alternative to the peat mining, considering peat as a limited resource. Several trials conducted have excelled in the establishment of Sphagnum species in experimental plots. Throughout these experiences, scientists and peat companies have realized that in order to implement a Sphagnum moss cultivation on a larger scale, wide range of know-how will be needed. Knowledge from initial species selection up to the final production and use of Sphagnum biomass in horticulture. This session welcomes contributions that examine selection of cultivation material, collection techniques, design, management and preparation of sphagnum farming project, and harvesting, storage and transport of Sphagnum biomass. The thought here is that through this symposium, the question will be answered regarding three elements: 1) The synergy of several actors (government agents – academy - industry) for the funding for this kind of projects 2) The exchange of research experiences, not only the exchange of scientific-nature results but also of a technical nature, and 3) the development of proper technologie as the crucial component for this cultivation

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Julien Arsenault, Université de Montréal


Summary: Peatlands represent an important component of the global carbon (C) cycle, acting simultaneously as C sinks (for CO2) and sources (for CH4). While the central characteristic of peatlands is an imbalance between organic matter production and decomposition leading to peat accumulation, the pathways to peat accumulation differ and depend on the geographical settings in which peatlands develop. Climate, topography, vegetation, hydrology, peat composition, and microbial communities, among others, exert control on peat accumulation processes. Understanding the role of such variables on C and other chemical elements dynamics in peatlands is of major interest for their conservation and restoration in the context of global climate change. The goal of this symposium is to bring together peatland scientists that will emphasize the commonalities and differences among peatlands located in different geographical settings. Contributions comparing processes in peatlands located in different regions are encouraged, but site-specific studies are also of interest.

Symposium affiliated with SWS/CLRA
Convenor: Carla Wytrykush, Syncrude Canada Ltd.


Summary: Canada’s western boreal forest is a landscape wherein wetlands, especially peatlands, often are the dominating feature. These bogs and fens provide many ecosystem services, none-the-least are sites for long-term storage of carbon. Activities associated with open-pit oil sands mining in northern Alberta either compromise the functionality or eliminate these wetland site-types from the landscape. Returning the landscape to one with equivalent capability to pre-disturbed conditions is an important aspect of reclamation in the area. Achieving equivalent land capability could be partially met with non peat-forming wetlands; however, peat-forming wetlands pose a greater challenge. To examine the possibilities for returning peat-forming communities to the post-mining landscape, Syncrude Canada Ltd. established the Sandhill Watershed, the first landscape-scale experimental watershed on a tailings deposit in a former mine pit. Sandhill Watershed, is in its 8th year post start-up and the ongoing interdisciplinary collaborative research at the site has amassed considerable data on the reclamation performance of both upland and wetland areas that have relevance of regional importance. In this symposium we highlight the results of continued research on hydrology, vegetation, ecosystem function, and carbon balance of the central wetland and associated upland at Sandhill Watershed.

Symposium affiliated with SWS - SWS - Global Change section
Convenor: Wei Wu, The University of Southern Mississippi


Summary: Wetlands are threatened by rising temperature, sea level rise, more frequent and intensive precipitation extremes, and human activities. Restoration has been widely implemented in wetland management across the world due to its potential to revere ecosystem degradation, increase ecosystem resilience, and mitigate the impact of global change. Empirical assessments of the outcomes of wetland restoration projects is critical to improve best practice and justify further investments. Our understanding of ecological trajectory post-restoration has being increasing while the socio-economic assessments remain limited. This symposium focuses on the short- and long-term ecological and socio-economic evaluations of wetland restoration practices, including vegetation productivity, species diversity and abundance, ecosystem processes, and ecosystem services etc. We aim to increase dialogues among ecologists, socio-economists, and resource managers to foster the integration of both ecological and socioeconomic measures to assess the full benefits and costs of wetland restoration. 

Convenor: Pete Whittington, Brandon University


Summary: The ecohydrological and biogeochemical understanding of Sphagnum (bog) peatland restoration in North America has advanced immensely in the past 30-years, evidenced by the establishment of the successful moss layer transfer technique. However, fen restoration, as well as integrating restoration efforts with the surrounding landscape to encourage ecotone creation, has significant knowledge gaps. For example, at peat extraction sites the bog peat can be extracted until the underlying minerotrophic (fen) peat is exposed, and thus restoration towards a fen ecosystem should be the goal. In Canada, initial ecosystem-scale fen restoration projects with fen plant reintroduction were conducted in a basin (Québec) and horizontal (Manitoba) fen, but with little success of regeneration of fen mosses. Fen restoration hydrology appears much more complicated than bogs; preliminary results from Manitoba show that understanding the surface water and groundwater contributions to restored sites is critical in achieving the desired water table. 

Therefore, the objective of this symposium are to gather a diverse range of experts working in peatland restoration to present our current understanding, identify knowledge gaps and highlight research opportunities with the goal of establishing a framework for better approaches to fen restoration and ecotone creation. 

Topics would include hydrology and ecology of fen restoration.

The relevance to restoration science, practise and policy is clear since there is a growing number of peatlands presenting minerotrophic residual peat conditions, particularly in central North America and the large fens of the North (Alaska – Canada), that must be restored to functioning ecosystems.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Christopher Shea, Tampa Bay Water


Summary: Historically, the majority of potable water supply in Florida has come from groundwater. Aquifer drawdown can result in wetland impacts, including shorter hydroperiods, organic soil loss, and community composition changes. Water Use Permit regulations require applicants to periodically renew permits, address existing wetland impacts, minimize any future impacts, and adjust water use if necessary. In order to adequately protect wetlands, the natural functioning of various wetland types (in terms of both hydrology and ecology) needs to be investigated, and estimates of resilience (allowable drawdown or reduction in a given hydrologic parameter) established. Groundwater modeling plays an important role in permitting water use in Florida, but work is also needed to clarify the extent to which it can inform predictions of wetland and lake impact and recovery. Wetland diversity, in terms of vulnerability, function, and connection to underlying aquifers, must be considered in assessing potential impact and planning future water use. In the Central Florida area, inferred wetland hydrogeology is being used to predict changes in wetland stress status over time. In the Tampa Bay area, permitted groundwater use has been reduced dramatically over the past twenty years and a recovery assessment involving the establishment of hydrologic metrics for wetlands of various types recently completed. Ecological impact—defined through consideration of qualitative health assessments, vegetation monitoring results, and aerial photointerpretation—was used as a grouping variable in analyses of long-term hydrological parameters, in order to develop specific recovery metrics for different wetland types, including marshes and sandhill wetlands. 

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Scott Davidson, University of Waterloo


Summary: Wetlands in arctic, boreal, temperate and tropical regions regularly experience both natural and anthropogenic wildfires and can show significant resistance to the impact of wildfire. However, they are currently undergoing increasing pressure from fire, with fire extent, intensity and frequency expected to increase under a changing climate. Severe fires can release large quantities of carbon to the atmosphere, affecting water quality, altering ecosystem services and potentially leading to long-term changes in community composition. Yet, fire can also be a necessary part of ecosystem function in many wetland ecosystems, playing an important role in nutrient cycling, diversity maintenance and habitat structure. There are extensive areas of degraded wetlands across the world and it is important that these ecosystems are restored (re-wetting of drained wetlands for example) to avoid increased impacts from fire. In this symposium, we will discuss all aspects of wildfire in wetland ecosystems, highlighting similarities, differences and potential futures across vastly different hydroclimates.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Gary Ervin, Mississippi State University & Carrie Reinhardt AdamsUniversity of Florida


Summary: Career histories provide guidance and inspiration for everyone in the wetland science community. This symposium supports the mission of the Women in Wetlands Section to facilitate professional development for wetland scientists, and features established careers from Doug Wilcox’s compendium.

Session 1: Smooth transitions at any career stage

Navigating careers in wetland science, policy and management involves important transitions. From university to full time employment, industry to academia, single to family, any career to retirement, transitions can rarely be mapped. Observations from personal case histories of lessons learned through career transitions can 1) equip people with the tools to approach transitions, 2) promote understanding and facilitate transitions for colleagues and mentees, and 3) foster productivity by normalizing the transitional career. In this session, presenters will focus on strategies for optimizing circumstances and taking advantage of any opportunities presented. 

Session 2: Lessons for the next generation

How does one succeed in maintaining a career in the wetland sciences? Long-time SWS member Doug Wilcox recently compiled the narratives of how 70 well-known wetland scientists who fell in love with wetlands and succeeded in establishing career sas wetland professionals. In this session, some of those scientists will pass along their stories in person. Speakers will discuss: 1) What experiences sparked their interest in wetlands? 2) How did they decide on the area of wetland science in which they established themselves? 3) What were significant challenges they faced, and how were those resolved? 4) What advice would they give to new wetland scientists?

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Carrie Reinhardt Adams


Summary: More details to come.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Jay Christensen, US EPA, Office of Research and Development


Summary: More details to come.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Maria Sanchez, University of Saskatchewan


Summary: Mountains are responsible for biome generation and climate events from local to continental scales. These ecosystems receive high levels of precipitation which combined with other conditions, allow them to support glaciers, lakes, and wetlands. The amount of water they receive and store provides multiple organisms a thriving environment. Mountain landforms promote wetland and, in some cases, peatland formation. Mountain peatlands around the world differ from the much studied lowland peatlands in their area, topography, and hydrology. The elevation gradient provides for different biotic and abiotic conditions that regulate peatland characteristics. These differences within mountain peatlands do not allow for blanket statements, each peatland has its own intricacy, being more or less dependent on abiotic and biotic changes. Mountain peatland science is developing and this symposium will bring together researchers to exchange ideas geared towards the understanding of how mountain peatlands differ from other more studied and vast peatlands around the world. With short featured presentations followed by a round table discussion, the objective of this symposium is to generate a manuscript that challenges the traditional definition of peatlands by providing insights on mountain peatland science.

Symposium affiliated with SWS - SWS - South Central Chapter
Convenor: Amber Robinson, Society of Wetland Scientists - South Central Chapter


Summary: The South Central Chapter, Education Section and Student Section of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) would like to co-host its third multi-sectional symposium, entitled Working in Wetlands, at the 2020 SWS Annual Meeting and Quebec RE3 Conference held in Quebec, Canada. This year, invited presenters will include a combination of professionals, recent graduates, and students working in the wetland science field. The symposium will consist of three, 100-minute blocks, with five speakers in each block and the target audience will be wetland professionals currently in the work force, students, and recent graduates. Each speaker will give a 15-minute presentation on their own personal wetland science career journey, including information on their education, research interests , current and previous job history, current job duties and tips for students and recent graduates on how to pursue a career in wetlands. During the last 25 minutes of each block, presenters will participate in a panel discussion lead by a moderator. Throughout each block, audience members will have an opportunity to post questions via a phone applicpation for the speakers to answer during the panel discussion. Questions may be posted to the screen for the moderator to read during the panel discussion. Depending upon the question asked, all or some of the panelists will have an opportunity to answer the audience’s questions. The moderator will have a list of prepared questions to spur discussion amongst the panel in the very unlikely case of a lack of audience participation.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: John Andrew Nyman, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center


Summary: More details to come.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Ben LePage, Pacific Gas and Electric Company & Matthew Simpson, 35percent & Andy Herb, AlpineEco & Kimberli Ponzio, St. Johns River Water Management District


Summary: To slow the degradation and loss of wetlands, hundreds of wetland restoration and creation projects have been implemented on nearly every continent. While some of these projects have been deemed “successful”, many others failed. The approaches implemented to attain the goals and objectives of each project (and success metrics, if used) vary substantially among practitioners and countries where the work is being performed. Of these, created wetlands are built with a specific purpose in mind, with stormwater treatment and management being the most common. Opportunities to incorporate additional ecological functions and benefits such as human health and well-being, are often not included in the initial design and these “misses” are not considered until after the project has been completed. Projects can also fail if stakeholders and end users are not fully consulted as part of the design process and wetland scientists can be put into difficult situations that compromise professional ethics. Accredited Professional Wetland Scientist speakers in this symposium will present a wide selection of projects and ethical challenges, from around the world, that illustrate the strategies or approaches that led to a successful outcome, both logistically and ethically. The speakers will present and discuss issues that were encountered, how they were overcome, and the end-result. The ability to share successes and lessons learned in a platform such as this provides practitioners with an environment where day-to-day issues and problems can be discussed and resolved openly and safely. In addition, this symposium provides students an opportunity to witness and participate in some of the challenges that wetland practitioners face as they strive to turn the tide on wetland loss and degradation. 

Convenor: Julia Linke, Science Coordinator, Dept. Geography, University of Calgary


Summary: The boreal-forest regions of Alberta are under increasing pressure from human development related to natural-resource extraction. Roads, seismic lines, well sites, harvest areas, and other elements of human disturbance exert cumulative environmental effects that can alter ecosystem dynamics and damage the habitat of threatened species such as woodland caribou. The Boreal Ecosystem Recovery and Assessment (BERA) project is a multi-sectoral collaboration of researchers and industry partners designed to address the following guiding question: When is industrial footprint in the boreal forest no longer ‘footprint’? This seemingly simple query is extraordinarily complex and has been the subject of this five-year, multi- disciplinary scientific research project that is carried out in operational environments with the goal to inform best practices for the energy and forestry sector.

In this full-day symposium we will summarize the main findings and contributions of BERA researchers across three sessions: (i) remote sensing of footprint and boreal forest structure and vegetation restoration, (ii) effects of footprint on industrial soils and vegetation and (iii) their vegetation and wildlife effects. Our emphasis will be on the presentation of knowledge gained and planning tools developed that are designed to assist researchers and resource managers engaged in boreal restoration activities.

Symposium affiliated with SER
Convenor: Stephen Glass, SER Midwest Great Lakes Chapter


Summary: Themes of the symposium are several:

  1. to examine the contributions restoration ecology has made, and can continue to make, in conserving the migratory phenomena of terrestrial species across the North American Continent. 
  2. to explore the mutually beneficial relationships and connections between ecological restoration, and the conservation of migratory species. The connections of interest, of course, include the ecological connections between landscapes and the social and cultural connections between the landscapes and the people and cultures who work and live on them.
  3. Encourage restoration ecologists to imagine the ways in which they can include migratory corridor conservation as explicit goals, or objectives in their projects.

Convenor: Marcel Darveau, Ducks Unlimited Canada (National Boreal Program)


Summary: “Swamp” commonly refers to wetlands where trees or tall shrubs are the dominant type of vegetation, growing on mineral or organic soils. Those wetlands develop on a variety of topographical positions, hydrological conditions, and disturbance regimes, yielding a diversity of structure and composition, ecological functions, and ecosystem services. Notwithstanding that, they are vanishing. In USA, with a total loss of 2,563 km2 from 2004 to 2009, forested wetlands ranked first among the inland wetlands. Urban and rural development caused the irreversible loss of 415 km2. Silviculture affected 605 km2 through tree removal; it is reversible, but restoration is difficult and expensive, and determining which swamps should be restored is a key step in the planning process.

This symposium aims four objectives:

(i) to present an introduction of swamp diversity, abundance, distribution, agents of change, and alteration across North America;

(ii) to provide a synthesis of knowledge on ecological foundations of swamp management;

(iii) to show three cases of swamp reclamation, restoration and rewilding of interior swamps

(northern white-cedar peatlands managed for timber in forest-dominated landscapes, fluvial swamps in National Parks conserved for biodiversity and tourism, and bottomland forests restored for wildlife hunting;

(iv) to present current research in multi-objective swamp management planning in urban landscapes and principles for urban swamp restoration.

At the end of the workshop, we hope that participants will have an overview of multiple facets of swamp reclamation, restoration, and rewilding in North America, and be better equipped to overcome the challenges of growing trees in wetlands.

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Julie Talbot, Université de Montréal


Summary: Peatlands generally are sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and sources of methane (CH4) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Reconstruction using peat cores indicate the sink is maintained for millennia, but obviously this type of analysis does not reveal periods when peatlands are sources. Shorter term, multi-year records of direct measurements of the carbon gas exchanges and DOC export reveal significant year-to-year variability in some peatland ecosystems, while other peatlands show little variability except under extreme climatic conditions. The controls on the inter-annual variability vary from system to system but appear to be associated with temperature and moisture dynamics. This session welcomes contributions that examine the variance in, and the causes of, the net ecosystem carbon balance in multi-year record for peatland.

Symposium affiliated with SWS/SER
Convenor: Greg Noe, US Geological Survey


Summary: Stream restoration often focuses on stabilizing or modifying the channel with the goal of improving ecological functions and health and reducing downstream export of sediment, nutrients, and pollutants. However, functional uplift in the channel typically has been limited. One possible constraint is the general lack of holistic planning and monitoring the effectiveness of practices in the whole stream valley. In particular, restoring the floodplain ecosystem may be important for enhancing stream channel functions as well as uplift of the coupled ecosystem of stream-floodplains. In this symposium we engage practitioners, owners and scientists to discuss and brainstorm innovative techniques for stream-floodplain protection, restoration, and rehabilitation. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with the audience to identify new opportunities to improve practice and science.

Symposium affiliated with SER
Convenor: Shannon Farmer, Trent University Student


Summary: SERTU committee encompasses the Wetland Sub-Committee which has been working tirelessly for the past year on restoring an agricultural meadow into a wetland located north of the Science Complex at Trent University Symons Campus. These dedicated students have gone above their academic expectations to partake in this project and would like to host a symposium highlighting their work. this will be an opportunity for students, faculty, and community members to learn about the project and its next steps. We would like to discuss wetland rehabilitation from the perspective of a volunteer student group but also focus on the broad topic of wetland restoration used as a tool for protecting land and increasing biodiversity. Students at Trent University speculate the current designated boundaries for the Wetland Complex are too small, stating they fail to include significant vernal pools and wildlife corridors. Beginning in January 2019 the SERTU Wetland Sub-Committee started field research supported by Trent University School of the Environment. Two undergraduate honors thesis projects are a result of this research. Shannon Farmer and Emily McNaughton are currently reviewing the wetland seedback and watershed budget, respectively. The next step for students will be to meet with hey stake holders to discuss expanding the Wetland Complex boundaries. Starting in 2020, Edward Smith will carry out an undergraduate honors thesis and accelerated master's degree. His focus will be planning the rehabilitation and stewardship strategy for the proposed rehabilitation of the Wetland Complex.

Symposium affiliated with SER/CLRA
Convenor: Mélina Guêné-Nanchen, Université Laval & Line Rochefort, Université Laval


Summary: Monitoring is an essential step to determine the success (or failures) of any restoration project. However, in practice, funds are rarely available for monitoring, and, if so, mostly on a short-term basis. In addition, restored ecosystems are highly dynamic and long term monitoring (>5 years, up to several decades) is essential to evaluate the fate of the action implemented. Even when long-term monitoring is implemented, declaring success of a restoration project can be challenging. Success is subjective concept and should be defined accordingly to the goals of the restoration project. Many aspects must be taken into consideration when one is trying to evaluate the success of a restoration project: choice of criteria, time elapsed since restoration, cost of monitoring, etc. This symposium aims to initiate a discussion on the best monitoring practices and how evaluate success of restoration projects. Presentations ranging from case studies, overview of monitoring guidelines and metanalysis of literature are welcomed.

Symposium affiliated with SER/CLRA
Convenor: Jonathan Price, University of Waterloo


Summary: Nikanotee Fen Watershed is a landscape constructed on a post-mined oil sands landscape, designed to support a groundwater-fed fen peatland; construction was completed in January 2013. It is based on a relatively simple design that has resulted in a 2.7 ha fen, a 7.7 ha upland area designed to recharge sufficient water to sustain the fen, all set within a 32.1 ha watershed that includes peat-mineral mix slopes reclaimed two to six years earlier than the fen. Despite its relatively simple design, episodic contributions from the previously reclaimed slopes, variations in cover-soil thickness in the constructed upland, placement of recharge basins, system layering and peat surface elevation have resulted in a relatively complex and interdependent suite of hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological responses. This symposium will present the results of the constructed ecosystem function, the implications of material type and placement in the design, and how the system has evolved since construction over the first seven years (2013-2019).

Symposium affiliated with SWS
Convenor: Bin Xu, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology


Summary: The majority (~80%) of Alberta’s oil sands reserve, which makes up the third largest reserve in the world, is too deep to directly mine and must be extracted with in-situ recovery methods such as cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). In-situ exploration and extraction activities in the wetland rich regions of boreal Alberta creates numerous temporary and semi-permanent features that can alter local and regional water flow, increase nutrient loading, cause shift in vegetation community, fragment boreal landscape and change net carbon balance of boreal peatlands. This symposium will showcase research on understanding the cumulative impact of various in-situ oil sands features on boreal peatlands and progress made so far to reclaim and restore critical ecological services and functions of disturbed peatlands. Key knowledge gaps and future research and innovation opportunities will also be discussed.

Symposium affiliated with CLRA
Convenor: Marie-Claire LeBlanc, Peatland Ecology Research Group, Université Laval


Summary: The Canadian horticultural peat industry has maintained a research partnership with the Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG / GRET) for more than 25 years to improve knowledge about peatlands and their restoration.

The results of this research led, among other things, to the development of a method for ecological restoration of peatlands after peat extraction and the improvement of knowledge on biodiversity, hydrology and greenhouse gas fluxes. The horticultural peat industry applies the method across the country and the USA, with all the peculiarities, challenges and opportunities that this represents.

During this symposium, we will discuss:

  • the step-by-step restoration method, and the science behind it;
  • results of more than 25 years of vegetation monitoring;
  • restoration projects carried out by the industry through case studies in various Canadian provinces and in Minnesota;
  • and evidence of the effectiveness of the method in restoring the typical carbon accumulation function of peatlands.

This research, funded by industry and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through partnership programs, has made Canada a world leader in the responsible management of peatlands.

Convenor: Louis Bernier, Université Laval, Centre for Forest Research


Summary: Pathogens are one of the natural drivers of forest succession. Pathosystems that involve a host and a pathogen which are both native tend to be in equilibrium. On the other hand, alien invasive pathogens may spark epidemics which have the potential to eradicate a host species from its native range. The steady increase in the intercontinental movements of people and goods during the last 300 years has led to several disease epidemics caused by alien invasive pathogens. These epidemics have decimated natural populations of iconic tree species such as American elm and eastern white pine. While the prognosis for these tree species to remain a significant component of the landscape was originally bleak, programs initiated in different countries in response to the epidemics have led to the identification of disease resistant material and/or sylvicultural treatments and strategies that provide hope for restoring iconic species.

Symposium affiliated with CLRA
Convenor: Marie Guittonny


Summary: Mine activities generate waste disposal facilities and are possible sources of contaminants for the surrounding environment. This Symposium will illustrate how mine sites and their surroundings are reclaimed after mine closure to mitigate contamination, and restore ecosystems and land-uses, with a focus on Quebec and Canada expertise.

Symposium affiliated with CLRA
Convenor: Martin Beaudoin Nadeau, Executive Board Member of the CLRA – Quebec Chapter and Founder and CEO at Viridis Terra


Summary: Social acceptability, social and environmental responsible behaviour standards, financial viability as well as social and environmental legacies are progressively becoming basic conditions for the approval (or even the survival) of extractive industry projects. The objectives for this activity are to propose ways by which integrated land restoration, agroforestry, and effective stakeholder relations approaches can be associated with mine planning, mine operations and mine (progressive) closure to gain social acceptability, to avoid conflicts, to create new livelihoods for impacted communities and to make a positive impact on the physical as well as social environments. The proposed approach would allow extractive projects to be better aligned with the UN Sustainable Goals (SDGs) and such standards as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) or Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).

It would also align with a progressive reform of closure criteria and standards, underway in various mining jurisdictions (including in Canada) which are becoming an integral part of the project approval process.

The panel would discuss how this approach could be operationalize in concrete terms.

Convenor: Audrey Lachance, Bureau d’écologie appliquée


Summary: This symposium regroups and presents original work in restoration, rehabilitation and rewilding conducted in the province of Québec and aiming at preserving rare species and promote biodiversity. The objective of this symposium is to share the innovations deployed by a wide range of organizations to achieve biodiversity conservation targets and enhance resilience to the effects of climate change. These applied projects were conducted on agricultural, urbanized and natural lands, including fish habitat. Important initiatives undertaken by different industries and intending to counter the effects of biodiversity loss will be discussed. Following recent regulatory modifications in Québec, the newly implemented provincial program for restoration and creation of wetlands and water environments will also be presented. The great variety of stakeholders involved in restoration, rehabilitation and rewilding projects causes independent development of practices. However, the general objectives pursued are shared among organizations. This symposium, by gathering the private sector, non-profit organizations, farmers, researchers and policy-makers, therefore represents an opportunity to communicate current knowledge and practices in Québec for restoration, rehabilitation and rewildering, and hence create an intersectoral dialog stimulating collaboration and global improvements in practices.

Convenor: Anna Dabros, Natural Resources Canada - Canadian Forest Service & Nicolas Mansuy, Natural Resources Canada - Canadian Forest Service


Summary: The theme of the proposed symposium session is about Cumulative Effects (CE) on biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services. Cumulative Effects refer to the changes to environmental, economic and social values caused by the combined effect of past, present and potential future actions or events, both natural and anthropogenic. Research on CE focuses on impacts and risks to forest and peatland ecosystem values resulting from all resource development activities, in addition to natural disturbances, including climate change. For the proposed symposium, the presentations will cover the impact of CE on biodiversity, including caribou (one the key indicators of the overall state of Canada's boreal ecosystems), as well as birds, invertebrates and plants. The presentations will also address how CE influence ecosystems functions and services, including for example, carbon cycling, and how tools and practices such as modeling, risk analysis, economic assessments of restoration, and the use of functional traits and silviculture can be applied in addressing and mitigating CE. Presentations will consider the cumulative effects of industrial development, e.g. habitat fragmentation due to forestry and oil and gas operations, as well as the overarching impact of climate change. Furthermore, there will be also discussion on joining the forces of western science and Indigenous Knowledge in addressing CE, specifically in contribution to support a conservation and restoration of forest caribou habitat. To achieve the goals of mitigating CE and to restore the integrity of forests and peatlands, collaborative efforts of the government, academia, resources sectors, and Indigenous communities are crucial.

Convenor: Lucie Labbé, AECOM


Summary: The loss of habitat through development, contamination of natural ecosystems, and ongoing climate change increase human and ecological risks through exposure to water, air, soil and other elements of our living environment. How can we reduce these risks through restoration? This symposium will allow you to discover new technologies such as 1) using an algae removal and toxicity treatment system to help reduce the ongoing reoccurrence of harmful algal blooms in lakes; and 2) how innovative tools involving LiDAR, remote sensing and drone technology are increasingly being used to inform river management. Also learn how the Lac Mégantic oil train tragedy was managed to reduce further risks for the population, the contamination of surface and groundwater and soil to spread and how the city center was restored and learn of the first proactive adaptations to climate change that uses a sustainable beach nourishment approach, providing for a resilient coastline. Another presentation will show how a living shoreline installed into the tidal waters of the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound provides for reduced exposure to lead contamination to estuarine fishes, shellfish, and other aquatic macro-invertebrates, and migratory waterfowl. The last presentation will expose how potential fast-spreading fires that can threaten residential and commercial developments on surrounding uplands and pose risks to transportation and utility services can be reduced by restoring a Phragmites dominated wetlands.

Symposium affiliated with CLRA
Convenor: Martin Beaudoin Nadeau, Executive Board Member of the CLRA – Quebec Chapter and Founder and CEO at Viridis Terra


Summary: Social acceptability, social and environmental responsible behaviour standards, financial viability as well as social and environmental legacies are progressively becoming basic conditions for the approval (or even the survival) of extractive industry projects. The objectives for this activity are to propose ways by which integrated land restoration, agroforestry, and effective stakeholder relations approaches can be associated with mine planning, mine operations and mine (progressive) closure to gain social acceptability, to avoid conflicts, to create new livelihoods for impacted communities and to make a positive impact on the physical as well as social environments. The proposed approach would allow extractive projects to be better aligned with the UN Sustainable Goals (SDGs) and such standards as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) or Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).

It would also align with a progressive reform of closure criteria and standards, underway in various mining jurisdictions (including in Canada) which are becoming an integral part of the project approval process.

The panel would discuss how this approach could be operationalize in concrete terms.

Symposium affiliated with CLRA
Convenor: Martin Beaudoin Nadeau, Executive Board Member of the CLRA – Quebec Chapter and Founder and CEO at Viridis Terra


Summary: There are more than 2 billion ha of degraded lands in the world suitable for restoration according to WRI. With the Bonn Challenge, the New York Declaration of Forests, and other initiatives such as the 20X20 Initiative in Latin America and AFR 100 in Africa, countries around the world has pledged so far to restore and reforest more than 256 million ha as a mean to mitigate and adapt to climate change while promoting prosperous local economies. These are very ambitious goals. Private and institutional investments will be necessary to reach at least a part of these goals. We need to create a sustainable economy around restoring these lands. The objective of this symposium is to learn from institutional investors their investment criteria, what they are looking for in natural capital projects, so they can invest, and how can we increase investments in natural capital in the coming years. The investors will present the program on natural capital investment they manage and what type of projects they have supported so far in the field of work.

Convenor: Lisa G. Chambers, University of Central Florida


Summary: As recognition of the functional ecosystem services provided by wetlands grows (e.g., carbon storage, nutrient cycling, water quality improvement), more restoration projects and management decisions are focused on success targets that include biogeochemical indicators. This symposium is intended to bring together researchers, restoration practitioners, and land managers who are using biogeochemical techniques, metrics, and indices to inform restoration and management practices.  This includes studies that provide actionable information about how human-controlled drivers can impact wetland biogeochemistry, novel biogeochemical parameters for monitoring restoration or management success, and/or how to incorporate and achieve biogeochemical targets. Example topics could include (but are not limited to): water level management to maximize carbon storage and minimized greenhouse gas production; effects of hydrologic restoration on coastal salinity regimes and nutrient cycling; or impacts of plant management on water quality and nutrient availability. By integrating concepts of biogeochemical cycling into restoration and management decisions, human-altered wetlands can exhibit enhanced functionality and resilience, while also fulfilling more traditional management goals.  

Convenor: TBC


Summary: This consecutive two-part session will include a symposium followed by a knowledge cafe for discussion about indigenous engagement and knowledge related to restoration. The symposium will feature speakers discussing Indigenous/First Nations approaches to restoration and re-wilding

Convenor: TBC


Summary: The Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) Program is authorized under a series of U.S. laws and regulations to restore natural resources and their services injured as a result of oil spills or hazardous substance releases into the environment. In partnership with affected state, tribal and federal trustee agencies, the NRDAR Program conducts damage assessment to determine the extent of injury to natural resources and then uses settlement funds recovered from the responsible party to restore natural resources. Since the 1980s, the Program has overseen many large-scale restoration efforts and during 2019, over $285 million was allocated to restoration, while over $500 million were recovered for future restoration implementation. This symposium will examine current restoration efforts through case studies and suggest methods for improving restoration success in the future. Presentations that highlight these efforts and their monitored positive progress are encouraged. Though many projects have had positive outcomes for the restoration of natural resources, this symposium will also highlight lessons learned and paths for future work that involves even more efficient processes. New research in the areas of Adaptive Management, Translational Research with incorporated Citizen Science and Stakeholder Input, advances in Remote Sensing, and Structural Decision Making can be used to improve restoration success. These restoration examples and suggestions for future processes can be incorporated across North America, internationally, and for restorations efforts outside of contaminated ecosystems.

Secretariat Québec RE3
Conferium Conference Services

425, boul. René-Lévesque Ouest
Québec QC G1S 1S2

Tel.: +1 418 522 8182

Toll-free (Canada and U.S.): 1 800 618 8182

Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 16:00 U.S. / Canadian Eastern Time



Important Preliminary Dates

Conference Postponed
June 19-24, 2021

New Call for Symposia and Workshops
August 3 to October 15, 2020 Now open

Deadline to Update 2020 existing abstract
November 13, 2020


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