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July 30, 2010
For immediate release

Successful Conference Wraps up with Keynote Address on Oil Spills

Environment, Energy & Forestry

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The 2010 Coastal Zone Canada Conference final keynote address is a strong reminder of the potential devastation an offshore oil spill would have on Prince Edward Island coastal waters, says Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Richard Brown.

“Dr. Merv Fingas gave an informative presentation about oil spills and the offshore environment, and more than ever we have to make sure that proper planning is in place to ensure that what happened in the Gulf of Mexico does not happen here,” Mr. Brown said.

More than 300 delegates took part in the conference and Youth Forum that finished Thursday in Charlottetown.

“The delegates had several days of great presentations and activities. I want to thank the many presenters, sponsors and organizing committee members for delivering an informative conference that has offered much insight into our role of protecting our coastal zone area,” Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Neil LeClair said.

Dr. Fingas, a scientist who focuses on oil and chemical spills, was Chief of the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada for over 30 years. He has been actively involved in studying the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and has testified to a U.S. Congressional committee studying the oil spill situation

The Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development hosted the conference on behalf of the Coastal Zone Canada Association. The theme of the conference was Healthy Oceans - Strong Coastal Communities - Voices for Change. The Youth Forum was presented by the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry, the Institute of Island Studies and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI.

“Everyone shares the responsibility of protecting our environment and we need all stakeholders to come together and ensure that due diligence is followed in everything from oil well drilling preparation to oil spill containment,” Mr. Brown said.

Media Contact: Alf Blanchard
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