The future of Cape Ann will be shaped, in large part, by the effects of climate change and how we respond to its challenges. These effects will reach well beyond sea-level rise, ultimately affecting transportation, public services, housing, and the economic health of our communities.
Three local organizations, TownGreen2025, the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation, and the Cape Ann Climate Coalition, are joining to form a partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The Harvard school is renowned for its expertise in land- use planning, urban design, and architecture, and has already consulted on sea-level rise with other municipalities across the United States. This pending partnership offers us unparalleled research, professional experience, and access to worldwide information sharing that our four Cape Ann communities can use in mapping the future.
During a two-month planning period this summer, the local groups will work with the Harvard team to develop a scope of work for the entire project. Among likely areas to be addressed are water supply and waste treatment, transportation systems, green business opportunities, and a road map to a net zero carbon footprint for Cape Ann. The project will embrace all of Cape Ann (Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport) reflecting the reality that their geography and economies are deeply interconnected.
The cost of this initial phase, including expert analysis from the Graduate School of Design, will be $25,000. We hope you can support this goal in any way possible, and in doing so lend your name to help win broad support, as we then seek backing for the final study from larger donors and foundations. We estimate the final year-long study will cost between $100,000 and $200,000.
There will be a section of the next Coalition all member meeting on June 25 at 7:30-9:30 devoted to this study and what the plans are in more detail. If you are interested in learning more or in donation to help us raise the initial $25,000 by June 20, please contact Dick Prouty at firstname.lastname@example.org.