Climate Awareness and Action for Cape Ann

The Cape Ann region is experiencing stronger storms, summer droughts, and rising sea levels. These are the impacts of climate change. Climate change is here. It is happening.

It is likely that the earth will warm past 1.5 degree Celsius, the identified threshold that would reduce the likelihood of the worst effects of climate change. New England and the Gulf of Maine are warming faster than any other areas on the planet and that means Cape Ann is warming fast.

What can we do? There are many actions that citizens of Cape Ann can take right now. This includes taking individual actions, supporting climate policies, and learning about how our climate is changing and what’s ahead so we can plan and be ready.

TownGreen, Inc’s mission is to act as a catalyst in assisting the greater Cape Ann region in becoming a vibrant and inclusive model of sustainability that is fossil fuel free and prepared for the impacts of climate change.

TownGreen is ready to serve Cape Ann by providing climate education to the public, businesses, and municipalities in formats that meet all of our needs. TownGreen is ready to work on meaningful climate policy in Massachusetts. And Towngreen is ready to bring fossil fuel free affordable options to Cape Ann to reduce our region’s reliance on oil and natural gas and move toward electrifcation. We can do this. We can create a carbon-neutral Cape Ann. We can successfully adapt and work together to preserve this beautiful place we call home.

Upcoming Events

Recent Event Videos

TownGreen Planning for Reality Webinar Series: Losing the High Marsh

Ecological Restoration and Significant SLR Impacts on Essex Marshes, plus sediment, erosion, and offshore issues, Webinar #2 Wednesday, October 24th 6:15-8:30PM A panel including Prof. Charles Waldheim (Harvard GSD) and Dr. David Burdick (UNH) will look at the major issues facing the ecological restoration of the Essex marshes and climate change impacts. Special attention will be given to likely scenarios of what could happen if the high marsh is degraded, the cultural significance of the marsh, as well as equally compelling issues, such as sediment issues, beach erosion, and impacts to Essex Bay. Panel guests present slides and visuals/maps; Q&A.

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Cape Ann Conversations: Governance for Climate Adaptation

A virtual presentation by Northeastern University’s Joan Fitzgerald.

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Essex Planning for Reality Series: Sea Level Rise and Climate Impacts to Essex Road Infrastructure

Harvard Professor Charles Waldheim, Dr. Jayne Knott, and Essex Police Chief Paul Francis discussed how climate change and sea level rise will impact the town's roads, bridges, and related infrastructure. Special attention was given to likely scenarios on the Causeway on Rte 133 and Apple Street. Our panel guests presented slides and visuals/maps and the webinar included Q & A, breakout groups, and/or a community engagement session.

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Exploring the Great Marsh with River Valley Charter School

A collaboration between artists and teachers on learning about the Great Marsh in Essex County, Massachusetts. The students of River Valley Charter School embarked on a year-long study of the climate and science of the Great Marsh and this video shows that experience they had and the end result.

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TownGreen's Planning for Reality Climate Impact Series: Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem Adaptation

TownGreen hosted the final webinar in the Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem series on Wednesday, May 24th 6:30-8:30pm. The program discussed and prioritized adaptation options for possible implementation at the iconic beach. Professor Charles Waldheim and Kira Clingen from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design outlined possible adaptation actions, offering specific details about how adaptation might work for the Good Harbor Ecosystem. Special guest presentation from Chris Leahy, retired professional conservationist with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, highlighted the bird species that frequent and rely on the Good Harbor Beach ecosystem. A video address with slides from Rory McCarthy from the local grassroots group Clean the Creek ran through the pollution issues that face the Good Harbor Beach creek. Jayne Knott, President of HydroPredictions, rounded out the program by presenting specific actions that could be implemented in the short-term.

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Economic and Financial Vulnerabilities To Climate Change

Jesse Keenan, Tulane University Associate Professor of Sustainable Real Estate, delivered a virtual lecture on the economic and financial implications of adaptation to climate change on May 10, 2023. Keenan describes the increasing economic vulnerabilities to both household wealth and municipal budgets, as sea levels rise and the intensity of storms increases along the coast of Massachusetts in the coming years. As a globally recognized thought leader, Keenan’s research focuses on the intersection of climate adaptation and the built environment, including aspects of design, engineering, regulation, planning and financing. He has previously advised on matters concerning the built environment for agencies of the U.S. government, governors, mayors, Fortune 500 companies, technology ventures, community enterprises, and international NGOs. Cape Ann Conversations: Changing Coastal Communities is hosted by Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Office for Urbanization. These convenings form a portion of the ongoing multi-year climate adaptation research project for Cape Ann, undertaken in collaboration with TownGreen, Water Alliance, and the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea. WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2023

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Rockport Workshop: Adaptation Solutions, Part 1

Adaptation and implementation solutions for Long Beach and Downtown Rockport were explored by a panel of experts. Participants learned about threats to existing structures and infrastructure.

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Cape Ann Conversations: Kerry Emanuel on Modeling Hurricane Impacts

Cape Ann Conversations: Changing Coastal Communities are hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Design's Office for Urbanization. These convenings form a portion of the ongoing multi-year climate adaptation research project for Cape Ann, Massachusetts undertaken in collaboration with the Cape Ann Climate Coalition, TownGreen, Water Alliance, the City of Gloucester, and the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea. Dr. Kerry Emanuel is Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Emanuel has made foundational contributions to the science of tropical cyclones, climate, and links between them, and has been a prominent voice in public debates on climate change, and what we should do about it.

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Rockport Workshop: Downtown Rockport

Downtown Rockport was featured in this webinar, specifically sea level rise and anticipated impacts from storm surge and flooding with a focus on the Dock Square wastewater pumping station and Bearskin Neck. Dr. Jayne Knott reviewed incremental sea level rise maps and data highlighting vulnerabilities. Harvard’s Charles Waldheim and Kira Clingen outlined the possible scenarios of flooding in the Downtown area due to a Category 3 hurricane. Local experts will provide context to understand the wastewater pumping station issues. And, Bearskin Neck merchants shared stories about their experience with flooding and storms.

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Rockport Workshop: Long Beach

This Rockport-focused webinar addressed climate impacts to the Long Beach ecosystem. Dr. Jayne Knott outlined incremental sea level rise on Long Beach with projections and visuals followed by Harvard’s Charles Waldheim and Kira Clingen who addressed the threats from a Category 3 hurricane. We heard from Laura Kozachek, Chair of Rockport’s Conservation Commission. An open forum discussion followed the presentations to allow for the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and concerns.

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