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E-M:/ Call for Program Proposals - Restore America*s Estuaries Conference



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Enviro-Mich message from "Chris Grubb" <Grubbc@nwf.org>
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Call for Program Proposals - Restore America*s Estuaries Conference

Restore America*s Estuaries is pleased to announce the Call for
Dedicated Sessions, Presentations and Posters for the 4th National
Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration - Creating
Solutions through Collaborative Partnerships.  The Conference will be
held October 11-15, 2008 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in
Providence, RI.

Proposals are due January 31, 2008.

About the Conference
This is the only national conference that focuses exclusively on
coastal habitat restoration, and we invite you to be a part of it. The
Conference will bring timely national attention to the challenges to and
opportunities for comprehensive coastal ecosystem restoration. Healthy
coasts and estuaries are essential to the very fabric of our lives - the
social, economic and ecological well being of humans in the coastal
landscape. And successful habitat restoration at all scales is critical
to achieving this. 

The 4th National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat
Restoration will advance the science, pace, practice, and success of
habitat restoration at all scales. Past Conference locations include New
Orleans in December 2006 (1,400 attendees), Seattle in September 2004
(1,000 attendees), and Baltimore in April 2003 (800 attendees). This is
the only national conference that brings together the entire coastal and
estuarine habitat restoration community. It provides a unique blend of
people and policy, science and strategy, business and best practices.

The Conference Program will address all aspects of coastal and
estuarine habitat restoration, in all habitats and at all scales.
Habitat restoration - manipulation of the physical, chemical or
biological characteristics of a site with the goal of returning
self-sustaining natural or historic structure and functions to former or
degraded habitat - offers great promise for reversing trends of habitat
loss and degradation and is a crucial component of comprehensive
ecosystem restoration, protection and management.

Conference Audience
The Conference is a national (and international) gathering of the full
coastal and estuarine habitat restoration community, including
participants from both the public and private sector. Restore America's
Estuaries will work with 200 partnering and supporting organizations to
develop and host the Conference, and we expect 1,500 attendees from the
restoration community: non-profit and community organizations,
businesses and corporations from supporting industries, tribes, academic
and research institutions, and agencies from all levels of government.
Restoration practitioners, citizens and community leaders, consultants,
scientists, educators, planners, engineers, volunteers, philanthropists,
program managers, field staff, contractors, regulators and others
involved in restoration efforts are expected to participate.

ABOUT RESTORE AMERICA*S ESTUARIES
Restore America's Estuaries, established in 1995, is a nonprofit
organization working to preserve the nation's coasts and estuaries by
protecting and restoring the lands and waters essential to the richness
and diversity of coastal life. Restore America's Estuaries and its
affiliate members collectively represent millions of citizens in all
coastal regions of the United States. Restore America's Estuaries
authored and championed passage of the Estuary Restoration Act of 2000 -
groundbreaking legislation providing strong federal commitment and
resources toward a goal of restoring function to one million acres of
estuarine habitat by 2010. Restore America*s Estuaries led the design
of A National Strategy to Restore Coastal and Estuarine Habitat, and
defined and published the Principles of Estuarine Habitat Restoration in
partnership with the Estuarine Research Federation. Our three National
Conferences on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration have been
attended by more than 3,400 people.

For More Information about the Conference
Visit www.estuaries.org/conference.

Sponsoring and Exhibiting Opportunities - Contact Harvey Potts at
206-624-9100 x 2#, or hpotts@estuaries.org 

General Conference Information - Contact Elsa Carlisle at 206-624-9100
x 0#, or conference@estuaries.org 

Conference Program - Contact Steve Emmett-Mattox at 303-652-0392 or
program@estuaries.org 


CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The National Program Committee invites you to submit a proposal to
present at the 4th National Conference. The program emphasizes best
practices and lessons learned in all aspects of coastal and estuarine
habitat restoration. There are three opportunities to present:

Dedicated Sessions - Potential session chairs may propose three or four
presenters in a 90 minute session. Dedicated Sessions must include
multiple perspectives and we strongly encourage that they address
multiple aspects of restoration within the chosen topic. Submissions
must be made by the proposed session chair, and should identify all
proposed presenters. The session chair may propose himself/herself as
one of the presenters in the session.

Presentations - Please propose one 15-20 minute presentation within one
or more of the Conference themes and topics. The National Program
Committee will organize selected presentations into cohesive 90 minute
Contributed Sessions and assign session moderators. If you would like to
propose more than one presentation, you must submit each proposal
separately.

Posters Sessions - Posters will be displayed throughout the Conference,
and one special 90-minute poster session (on Tuesday, October 14th) will
allow Poster Presenters to discuss their work with Conference
participants. A Student Poster Contest offers cash awards to the best
student posters. For more contest information, please visit the
Conference website.

Themes and Topics
Restore America*s Estuaries and the National Program Committee seek
proposals for sessions, presentations and posters that relate
specifically to one or more of the following Conference themes. While
presentations and posters that address the specific topics identified in
each theme are encouraged, you may also submit a proposal that falls
outside of the suggested topics and themes.

Coastal Restoration in the Context of Climate Change
As the earth warms, our coasts have been and will be impacted.
Sea-level rise and dramatically changing coastal dynamics are already
affecting habitat restoration planning and implementation. Proposals are
sought that address:
 - how climate change is impacting our coasts and what that means for
habitat restoration
 - how to justify habitat restoration in the face of sea-level rise
 - how to plan for climate change in habitat restoration efforts at all
scales
 - how climate information has been applied to improve restoration
planning
 - the link between habitat restoration and carbon sequestration.
This is an excellent theme in which to propose sessions or
presentations that address new policy initiatives and other
opportunities related to restoration and climate change.

Human Dimensions of Restoration
Our coasts and estuaries are cultural and economic, as well as natural,
landscapes. Healthy and resilient coastal ecosystems are essential to
our economic, cultural, spiritual and physical well being. Proposals are
sought in this theme that address methods to evaluate the economic and
cultural aspects of restoration. Proposals are sought that examine the
human dimensions of restoration at all scales including research to
document the importance of our coasts to our national heritage, for
example:
 - disaster prevention/relief
 - the economics of restoration
 - the importance of using local and traditional knowledge in
restoration processes
Both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the human dimensions of
restoration are encouraged.

Education and Outreach
Education and outreach play a key role in generating public interest to
restore the health of our coasts and estuaries to health. Proposals are
sought that address building constituencies for coastal and estuarine
restoration through formal and informal education programs and community
outreach. Our children are growing up without a strong connection to
nature - what has been called *nature deficit disorder* by some.
This aspect of child development must be addressed, and the link between
restoration and education is one way to do this. Proposals in this theme
are encouraged to address:
 - the best practices and lessons learned in restoration education at
all grade levels
 - working with volunteers and the benefits of volunteer participation
 - engaging key and new constituencies in restoration (such as
faith-based organizations and environmental justice organizations)
 - creative partnerships with businesses
 - identifying the values and messages that should be used to engage
and educate the public and public officials

Comprehensive Ecosystem Restoration and Management
Comprehensive coastal ecosystem restoration and management is
imperative. Proposals in this theme may address many topics, including:
 - the benefits of long-term land-use planning
 - integrating the best scientific understanding of coastal ecosystems
into planning and implementation
 - restoring water quality to facilitate habitat restoration
 - setting national priorities
 - choosing the right scale
 - funding habitat restoration at all scales. 
Region-specific proposals are welcome, as are proposals that address
common themes across regions. 

Advances in Science and Technology
This theme addresses the latest advances in our understanding of
coastal and estuarine ecosystems and innovative restoration
technologies. Proposals are encouraged that address the integration of
science into planning and practice at any scale, and in any habitat
type. Some of the possible presentation topics include:
 - using tools and technologies such as GIS and LIDAR to support
restoration work
 - modeling water level and tidal interaction for coastal restoration
 - techniques for measuring land elevations
 - new software and tools for efficient project and data management
 - the application of emerging technologies

Best Practices On-the-Ground
Proposals that address the best practices and techniques of various
aspects of restoration on-site are invited. The practices and techniques
featured in the proposal must relate directly to the restoration of
coastal and estuarine habitats.

Measuring and Communicating Results
The restoration community must be able to document and communicate its
successes. This theme emphasizes communicating a vision for success and
also encompasses monitoring and adaptive management (concrete case
studies of adaptive management in practice and triggers for
adaptations). Some of the possible topics include:
 - identifying the best means of project-level and ecosystem
monitoring
 - measuring the cumulative effects of smaller projects
 - measuring ecological services provided by restoration
 - the cost-effectiveness of restoration

Policy and Funding 
Negotiating the policy and finance mazes associated with habitat
restoration can be among the most challenging aspects of restoration
projects. This theme highlights policies and funding initiatives around
the country that have advanced restoration opportunities. Presentations
within this theme will provide opportunities for groups that have worked
to catalyze or shape policy on the local, state, regional or federal
level to share lessons learned, and offer tools and suggestions.
Presentations will also explore creative funding opportunities-including
unique ways to raise the necessary *matching* funds that are often
required for restoration efforts. Possible topics include:
 - Establishing project funding criteria / priority-setting at a
regional or national scale
 - Connecting land protection with in-water restoration work -
describing the link between terrestrial restoration and
coastal/estuarine health
 - Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) -
opportunities for restoration
 - Corporate culture and a commitment to habitat protection and
restoration
 - Innovative funding mechanisms, including creative partnerships with
businesses
 - Law and policy impediments to implementing best management
practices
 - Solving the disconnect between science, practice and the legal
framework for habitat protection and restoration
 - Other federal, regional, state or local policies that impact coastal
restoration

INSTRUCTIONS
To submit a proposal for a dedicated session, presentation, or poster,
visit www.estuaries.org/conference to complete the proposal form and
submit the form online. 

Presentation and Session Format
Conference sessions will last 90 minutes each and will include three or
four presentations of approximately 15-20 minutes, with the remainder of
each session dedicated to a moderated dialogue between presenters and
attendees. The Conference program will be structured to enable
cross-sector dialogue within the restoration community.

Poster Presentations
Posters will be displayed on a 4* x 4* board from Sunday evening,
October 12th to Wednesday afternoon, October 15th. Poster set-up will
occur on Sunday afternoon. One designated Poster Session will also be
held so that presenters can informally discuss their work with
attendees. At this time, no other Conference activities will be
scheduled.

Student Poster Contest
All students with Posters at the Conference will be entered into the
Student Poster Contest. Cash prizes will be awarded. If you are
interested in judging the student posters, please contact Elsa Carlisle
at conference@estuaries.org. 

Things to Consider Before Applying
 - Dedicated sessions should have 3-4 presenters and a session chair.
 - Presentations are allowed one presenter and one co-presenter.
Co-authors should not be listed in the proposal, but will be included in
the Conference Proceedings published after the Conference.
 - Do not upload the proposal until all information is complete.

Timeline and Due Dates
 - January 31, 2008 - All Proposals due
 - April 30, 2008 - Presenters notified of selection status.

Selection Process and Criteria
The National Program Committee will review proposals in conjunction
with Restore America*s Estuaries* staff. Proposals will be evaluated
on the following criteria, among others:
 - significance to the habitat restoration community
 - relevance to conference themes
 - ability to provide generally applicable take-home lessons
 - (for science-based presentations) extent to which the research is
described in the context of general ecological theory and practice to
allow broad application in the restoration community
 - (for dedicated sessions) inclusion of diverse perspectives - an
interdisciplinary approach to the restoration theme(s) addressed. 

The selection process is competitive, and not all submitted proposals
will be accepted in the Conference Program. Unless you request
otherwise, presentations not selected for inclusion in the Conference
Program will receive strong consideration for inclusion in the Poster
Session.

Presenter/Chair Responsibilities
Once a presentation, poster or dedicated session has been accepted,
Restore America's Estuaries will communicate due dates for additional
required information for the printed Conference Program guide, as well
as A/V needs. Session chairs are responsible for providing all required
information related to their sessions to Restore America*s Estuaries.
Reasonable audio-visual equipment, including projectors and screens,
will be provided as needed.


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