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.

Previous Meeting – Saturday January 23, 2016

The Rockport Saturday January 23, 2016, at 10:30 am at the Rockport Police Station.

In addition to regular business we heard from representatives from both the Clinton and the Sanders presidential campaigns, in advance of the upcoming MA primary (March 1, 2016) as well as Marianne Rutter from Boxford who spoke about how to run to be a delegate to the Democratic National convention which will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 25th-28th, 2016.

More information about the campaigns will be added to the Resources Section.

Meeting Saturday October 17, 2015

The Rockport Democratic Town Committee held a meeting on Saturday October 17, 2015 at 10:30 at the Rockport Police Station, 168 Main Street.  We received excellent reports from our committee members who attended the State Convention in September.  We heard from a supporter of the MA initiative for humane treatment of farm animals.  We also heard from a supporter of the Fair Share Amendment. Both presentations were quite informative.  Attendees had a chance to sign petitions for each.

Fair Share Amendment resource links:
Basic summary on the Fair Share Amendment campaign:  http://raiseupma.org/constitutional-amendment-campaign/

Signature Collection Toolkit (which includes the basic fact sheet on the campaign):  http://raiseupma.org/signature-collection-toolkit/

Mass Budget and Policy Center’s short report on the campaign’s funding goals and tax reforms that improve fairness:  http://www.massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=Fair_Share_Tax_Reform_Factsheet.html

Humane Treatment for Farm Animals:  More information on the initiative – http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/massachusetts-ballot-initiative-seeks-curb-farm-animal-confinement

Aug 25th last day to Register for FTM

To vote in the Rockport Fall Town Meeting (FTM), you must be a registered voter in Rockport.  Even if you own a home here, you must be registered to vote here to be able to vote in Town Meeting.  Those who are not registered to vote here will be seated in the ‘visitor’s section’ and their votes at town meeting will remain uncounted.

Tuesday August 25th is the last day on which you can register to be eligible to vote at the FTM.  Town hall will be open until 8pm on that day.

You may also register online, with the same deadline.