Collaborative Science, Policy Development and Program Implementation in the Transboundary Georgia Basin/Puget Sound Ecosystem
The transboundary Georgia Basin Puget Sound ecosystem is situated in the southwest corner of British Columbia and northwest comer of Washington State. While bountiful and beautiful, this international region is facing significant threats to its marine and freshwater resources, air quality, habitats and species. These environmental challenges are compounded by rapid population growth and attendant uiban sprawl. As ecosystem stresses amplified and partnerships formed around possible solutions, it became increasingly clear that the shared sustainability challenges in the Georgia Basin and Puget Sound required shared solutions. Federal, state and provincial institutional arrangements were made between jurisdictions, which formalized small scale interest in transboundary management of this ecosystem. Formal agreements, however, can only do so much to further management of an ecosystem that spans international boarders. A transboundary regional research meeting, the 2003 GB/PS Research Conference, opened the doors for large-scale informal cross-boarder cooperation and management. In addition to cooperation, continued efforts to stem toxic pollution, contain urban growth, and protect and restore ecosystems, require a commitment from scientists, educators and policy makers to better integrate research and science with decision-making.