Offshore Wind Webinar Tues May 3rd

Many of our members have expressed an interest in more conversation about offshore wind. One of the Candidates for Lt Gov mentioned the City of Salem’s plans to use their deep water port to support OSW. This info came over the transom from the Cape Ann Climate Coalition’s Community Building and Education Group. Flyer image below. (Thanks to Susan Hoague! for passing this on.)

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Webinar
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 7-8:30 pm

ZOOM LINK

Presented by
Cape
Ann Climate Coalition’s Community Building & Education Group

Topics and Speakers:

  • Exciting Things are Happening with OSW in Salem
    with Cindy Keegan, Co-Chair, Salem Alliance for the Environment (S.A.F.E.)
  • Economic Opportunities in OSW Development
    with Jay Borkland, Director of Ports and Supply Chain at Avangrid
  • Benefits of OSW for Gloucester’s Municipal Aggregation Program with Larry Chretien, Director of the Green Energy Alliance
  • Maritime Jobs that Support OSW with Bob Blair, Ship Pilot and Business Owner
    For More Information: www.capeannclimatecoaliton.org

Massachusetts is moving forward in a significant way with OSW development plans as a means to reach Net-Zero. It is up to us to protect the things we need and love: marine life, sustainable fishing, and economic benefits.

TownGreen2025 announces the launch of an important local climate study

TownGreen2025 Just announced:

“…the launch of a year-long, Cape Ann-based climate study in partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (HGSD). This study started on September 1, 2021 and will identify unique challenges, opportunities, resources, and recommendations relevant to the four municipalities: Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Essex.

The Environmental Protection Agency selected Cape Ann for a 2021 “Building Blocks for Resilience” technical assistance program that will help identify strategies for climate resilience and federal and state funding sources, as well as develop local financing strategies for climate recommendations. Cape Ann was one of four regions in the US to receive this assistance. TownGreen 2025 raised funds to engage Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design to research and deliver a study about climate vulnerabilities across the Cape Ann region based on four case scenarios that focus on the themes of mitigation, resilience, and adaptation.”

Learn more about the Harvard Study at TownGreen2025.org

Swing Left/Swing Blue – Environmental Voter Project

Over the transom today from Alex Smullin and the local Swing Left organizers. The work is everywhere. Thanks to all who are participating to save our democracy!

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Dear Swing Left North Shore/ Cape Ann – 

We sent about 10,000 postcards to VA – to encourage early voting, get out the vote for Virginia Beach House of Delegate candidates and test a message to motivate voters concerned about climate change to oust their Republican state Delegate who had voted against important climate measures.

Everyone is focused on VA for the next three weeks and there are a lot of great actions to join. While we will have one more postcard project before election day, possibly on the Freedom to Vote Act, please try to join in at least one of the activities below being conducted by the most effective grassroots organizations to make sure we win in VA:

SWING BLUE ALLIANCE/SISTER DISTRICT MA/RI

Getting out the core voter is critical in low-turnout elections like Virginia’s upcoming elections on November 2nd. Republicans are working to win back the governor’s seat and the state legislature. Early voting has already started! Swing Blue Alliance is working with Sister District MA/RI to call voters to give them information about early mail-in and in-person voting and recruiting volunteers to canvass.

Join a Sister District MA/RI phone bank Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

CENTER FOR COMMON GROUND

We have postcarded with the Center for Common Ground/Reclaim our Vote – this year in VA and in many places last year. They will end their postcarding for VA next week but will be phonebanking and texting right up to Election Day. If you’re interested in participating in either of those campaigns, you can find all the information you need to get started on the Phonebanking and Texting pages of their website. The platforms they use make both activities very easy to do. The Thursday briefing this week (Thursday, October 14) will include a demonstration of the phonebanking platform and possibly the texting one, in case you want to check it out. 

ENVIRONMENTAL VOTER PROJECT

Here’s why the Environmental Voter Project is making a difference in Virginia:

  • Short-term Results: We’ve been working year-round in VA to turn over 500,000 low propensity environmental voters into consistent voters. Randomized controlled trials show we increased turnout of our targets by +0.7 percentage points in VA’s June 8 primary and we also boosted vote-by-mail sign-ups by +0.2.
  • Long-term Results: By the end of 2020, a stunning 37,225 of the non-voting and seldom-voting environmentalists we’d targeted since 2019 had become consistent voters who now vote in federal, state, and even local elections.
  • Our Targets are Already Voting Early!: Voter file updates show that a stunning 23,026 of the voters we’re targeting have already voted early for the upcoming Nov. 2 election. None of these environmentalists had ever voted in an odd year election before!

With just a few clicks you can make a difference by donating to help mobilize environmental voters in Virginia or signing up for a Get-Out-The-Vote shift

PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY

Glenn Youngkin’s extremism stands at stark opposition to the values of Virginia voters, but unless we’re able to increase voter turnout in the upcoming election, he has a chance of beating Terry McAuliffe!

Sign up now to help get out the vote in Virginia by calling or texting voters – the election is just a few weeks away! 

Let me know how it goes – if you send a brief report of your experience I can share them and hopefully that will encourage others to give it a try.   Let’s head in to 2022 with a big win in VA!!

Thanks! Alix

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EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator

Looking for action to take to reduce the impacts of climate change? A successful response to the climate crisis takes action at all levels.


Big action is required. We finally have news that the XL Pipeline project has been stopped after years of organizing and protest.

Local action is needed. We have some great opportunities on Cape Ann to work on Climate Change mitigation through the Green Community Taskforce, and the Cape Ann Climate Coalition.

But even if you can’t get to a pipeline to protest against, and you don’t have the extra time to work on a town or Cape Ann committee, you can still contribute with small measures around your own home.

What parts of your lifestyle are still contributing to greenhouse gasses and what can you do about it?
The EPA provides this tool to calculate your carbon footprint.

Carbon Footprint Calculator


One great feature of this tool is that it provides a means of downloading the model as a spreadsheet so that you can see both the assumptions and all of the ways that the results are calculated.

Green Community Taskforce in Rockport

At our last RDTC meeting, Tom Mikus updated us on the efforts of the Green Community Taskforce in Rockport: https://www.rockportma.gov/green

In 2020 the Rockport Taskforce received a grant that fully pays for the following projects:
– Converting to LED lighting in the schools, which we completed in December
– Updating unit ventilators in the schools, which has been delayed due to availability of materials

They also laid the groundwork to begin the following projects in 2021:

According to Rockport’s Green Community Taskforce’s about page:

‘The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program has helped 185 cities and towns earn Green Community designation. As energy leaders in Massachusetts, Green Communities are eligible for state grants. More than $65 million from those Green Community grants is already at work in 155 communities, with more than $6 million in additional grants for energy projects in the newest 30 designated communities.

In late 2015 the Board of Selectmen appointed a Green Community Task Force to pursue this designation for Rockport.’

For more information about the committee, please see their webpage and explore their links.

Herring and Fish Counts and Eel, Oh My!

Last week on this site, we featured a video on small hydro projects. Uphill reservoirs of water can be a great way to store and generate energy, but they require a good deal of thought and planning around how they might affect the services that the natural watershed is providing.

One of the main issues to contend with in any hydro project is its affect on the eels and other fish that travel up the natural waterway to spawn and later back down the waterway to the ocean to give birth to the next generation. Hydro projects that don’t give a means for species to get around them going up stream, like a fish ladder, will prevent them from reaching their spawning grounds. As Eric Hutchens describes in the video, projects that don’t provide the proper filters and screens to keep the fish out of the power generating flow will create chum out of the downstream running species.

Perhaps you are thinking that eels are kind of creepy anyway and maybe even wondering whether there aren’t enough herring in the world already. But, as Eric points out, species like herring are feed stock for a chain of other fish that you might want to fish for, for fun or profit, even if you don’t appreciate the role they may play in the ecology of upland watershed.

Fish counting is a volunteer effort. If you’d like to become a part of the fish count in Rockport in person, Eric suggests contacting our Shellfish Warden, Rebecca Visnick, who can provide you with instructions.

Or, you could count fish in Plymouth, MA from the comfort of your own home by visiting https://www.plymouthriverherring.org/

Everything is connected.