From Coast to Coast, Golder celebrates World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day, celebrated every June 8th, recognizes the importance of respecting and protecting the world’s precious shared resource. This year, Golder is marking World Oceans Day by recognising members of our global team from coast to coast who have devoted their careers and energy to supporting and protecting oceans around the world.

Elena Lazzarotto, Principal Marine Scientist (Melbourne)

Elena assesses ecological impacts in the marine environment associated with contamination releases. Her role in these projects is to develop scientifically robust ecological monitoring programs and to advise Golder clients on how to minimise harm to the marine environment. Elena and Golder professionals like her provide specialist technical expertise and advice to our clients and liaise with government and other agencies on their behalf. In compliance with State and Federal legislation, our marine scientists undertake or manage the necessary ecological studies and impact assessments to enable ecologically appropriate and pragmatic site management actions to be implemented to avoid, remedy or mitigate ecological impacts.

Organisations across various industrial sectors are facing increasing pressure to demonstrate sound environmental management practices. Many Golder clients have sites presenting complex challenges that require input from technical specialists from multidisciplinary teams. Elena works to integrate technical knowledge from the different disciplines to develop robust monitoring programs. When thinking about her work and its impact: “This work is important because it provides a more rigorous assessment of the potential risks to ecological communities, helping clients demonstrate their commitment to minimising and monitoring environmental impacts to key stakeholders.”

Simplicio Chivambo, Environmental Scientist (Mozambique)

Simplicio talks to colleagues as well as our clients about the importance of sustainable use of natural resources (e.g., water) and protection of coastal ecosystems (e.g., estuaries with mangroves and seagrass) for the conservation of marine environment and how the reduction in the consumption of goods can help reduce pollution of the marine environment.

Simplicio recently delivered consulting services to clients whose activity had the potential to affect the health of coastal ecosystems in Northern Mozambique. In our reports, the Golder team proposed a number of actions and monitoring measures to avoid negative impact and mitigate undesired impact of activities on coastal environment, in terms of water quality, benthic ecosystem, megafauna, seagrass and mangroves. Simplicio acknowledges the importance of this mission: “Our work helps prevent the acceleration of the degradation and fragmentation of coastal habitats, by providing useful tools to clients that can be used to prevent negative impact, mitigate and monitor undesired impact on the ocean’s health.”

Keyvan Mahlujy, Senior Coastal Engineer (Vancouver)

As a coastal engineer who has been involved in several nearshore and offshore projects globally in the past 25+ years, Keyvan considers it his responsibility to conserve and protect the ocean following three main goals: avoid, mitigate and offset. Keyvan cites examples from dispersion analysis, either for salinity or waste to modeling dredge fate during dredging activities and everything in between.

By offering coastal engineering, coastal morphology, marine structural engineering, marine biology, environmental science including contamination evaluation/mitigation, and last but not least, climate change impact assessment, Golder professionals like Keyvan are uniquely positioned to, in collaboration with stakeholders, provide a holistic solution to existing and potential clients for their nearshore or offshore projects.

Golder professionals like Keyvan recognise their responsibility with respect to the environment. It is noted that the design life of typical coastal and marine projects is 30+ years, and the corresponding impact on environment (and in this case, the ocean) can be extended to generations to come. Keyvan relays his views on this important role: “Public and private sectors expect us to utilize our knowledge and experience and provide them with the technical assistance needed to develop and execute sustainable solutions. Similarly, it is our responsibility that, when necessary (and I hope with awareness and procedures and requirements in place it will be less and less frequent), blow the whistle to stand down, rethink and modify the solution developed.”

Giovanni Torchia, Associate, Senior Marine Biologist – Project Director (Turin)

Giovanni’s work to create a healthier ocean can be divided into two main categories: Works in the context of marine protected areas where Giovanni focuses on several projects that aim at establishing marine protected areas which are one of the best ways to conserve marine biodiversity and have healthier seas. Giovanni’s other focus is the performance of Environmental Impact Assessments where he attempts to identify every feasible approach, changes in projects or actions to avoid, and when it is not possible to mitigate as much as possible, the negative environmental impacts created by the projects our clients would like to develop. Giovanni’s passion for his work is apparent: “I believe in what I do, and I work together with my colleagues who, like me, have passion for their work and have chosen to do it because of their ideals.”

Giovanni advises clients on how to protect the marine environment and how to avoid and mitigate any possible form of impact created by their projects. To do so Giovanni and his colleagues use science because it remains the best tool when trying to make the right and most sustainable choices.

Giovanni’s work is important because it has concrete results which means a direct and immediate benefit for the marine environment. He shares two recent examples of work with positive impacts: Studies that helped establish the first marine protected area of Montenegro and a port project in Turkey that, based on our environmental impact assessment, modified the number of piers to be built because one would have damaged an important Mediterranean coastal ecosystem.

Roxanne Scott, Associate, Senior Social Scientist and Human Environment Lead (Vancouver)

As a social scientist, Roxanne works with clients, local communities, and impacted stakeholders to support sustainable marine-based project design that minimizes adverse social, economic and health impacts, align with community development goals and objectives, and maximises long-term benefits. Her work involves leading and advising on socio-economic and land and marine use assessments, stakeholder engagement, social management planning, and social due diligence monitoring and evaluation.

“Stakeholders, Indigenous groups, and our clients understand that the best project solutions are reached through comprehensive and collaborative data collection and engagement processes. The more you engage meaningfully with stakeholders, the more you will uncover and be able to reduce project risks”. In this context, Roxanne advises clients and technical teams on the design and delivery of engagement programs that recognize concerns, opportunities, and interests, and support meaningful participation of diversly impacted population groups. The application of participatory processes through workshops, focus groups, interviews and other culturally appropriate mechanism supports understanding of community and Indigenous knowledge, while facilitating relationship building throughout the project.

Luis Melges, Principal, Chemical Oceanographer (Sao Paulo)

Luis has worked for more than 35 years on projects associated with the prevention and control of ocean pollution caused by industrial activities, such as offshore oil exploration and production, petroleum and ore transportation through pipelines, maritime terminals, and ships, and industrial plants located in the coastal zone. At the same time, Luis has been teaching disciplines dealing with marine pollution and environmental risk in undergraduate and graduate programs for three decades.

The projects that Luis has worked on at Golder have helped clients to select the best design and operation solutions, with the reduction of accidental risks inherent to their activities and the implementation of more environmentally and socially sustainable projects. Luis recognises and reinforces the importance of the work with his students and colleagues: “The opportunity to work on projects that provide the development of new methods and technologies that contribute to the preservation of the oceans and their invaluable biodiversity is a privilege that motivates me every day.”

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