The 2014 International Conference on Marine and Freshwater Environments (iMFE 2014) took place at the Sheraton Hotel in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, from the 6th to the 8th of August, 2014. It was organized jointly by the 2014 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Information Sciences (ISEIS), the 2014 Atlantic Symposium of the Canadian Association on Water Quality (CAWQ), the 2014 Annual General Meeting and 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador Section (CSCE-NL), and the 2nd International Conference of Coastal Biotechnology (ICCB) of the Chinese Society of Marine Biotechnology and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Marine and freshwater environments are essential components of the earths hydrosphere and their protection has been one of the most critical and challenging tasks for all the involved researchers, engineers and decision makers at a global scale. Within a global changing context, effective protection and management of water environments demand continuously improved knowledge and technologies, sound decisions and practices, and benign legal and socio-economic environments. In response to such demand, the iMFE 2014 intends to provide a unique international platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences amongst researchers, practitioners and regulators in the field. Over 100 participants from 9 countries attended the conference to discuss and appreciate various aspects involved in the protection of freshwater and marine environments as well as sustainable development of natural resources (water, oil & gas, mineral, etc.). This two and half day event was packed with 23 informative sessions, more than 60 oral presentations, and 15 poster exhibitions. Over 70% of the conference attendees participated with an oral or poster presentation.
The iMFE 2014 conference was able to provide a unique platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences amongst decision-makers, managers, researchers and academics from different areas of water environmental protection; to provide a communication forum for scientists and engineers to discuss and appreciate various aspects involved in the protection of freshwater and marine environments as well as sustainable development of natural resources in coastal areas and oceans, particularly under harsh environmental conditions; and to foster an integrative understanding of water and the environment as well as exploring sound engineering solutions. Research innovations, practical solutions, and discussion findings generated from this project would be beneficial and a good reference to the future research and practice associated with the marine environments and sustainable development, particularly in Atlantic Canada. Researchers from numerous disciplines at Memorial University, such as Engineering, Ocean Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, have engaged with researchers, experts, policy makers, government representatives, industry stakeholders from across Canada and all over the world. Due to the mutual interests, many research collaborations have been enhanced or proposed to be built up in the near future. It is also expected to help achieve the following long-term goals: to extend the network to a national and then an international level; to help develop long-term research collaborations on water management and sustainable development, especially in harsh environment; and to render this conference as an annual event to foster/sustain world-class research and networking.