News and views on our carbon neutral future

Cape Ann Climate Coalition, June 2020 Update

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Welcome to our second Cape Ann Climate Coalition newsletter.

While we are all working to stay healthy and helping others over this difficult time, we need to remember the challenges of our warming climate continue and unfortunately are increasing daily. If you can, D.O.T. for the environment

We are hoping that you and your loved ones are doing well and welcome your feedback or input on the work we are doing.

Cape Ann Climate Coalition Organizing Committee
Lisa Smith, Alice Morris, Marcia Hart, Greg Federspiel, Candace Wheeler,
Doug Parsons, Susan Hoague, Tom Mikus, Dick Prouty, Susan Quateman, Janet Parsons

All Member Meeting

Save the date! June 25th at 7:30pm! Details to follow...

Renewable Energy Group

The Renewables group continues to work with neighboring municipalities on the possibility of increasing membership in a regional community choice aggregation program. When more cities and towns join together their purchasing power is increased allowing lower electricity prices and increased amounts of green renewable energy put into the mix. Gloucester already has its own municipal aggregation program which allows the city of Gloucester to purchase electricity on behalf of the residential and small business customers. Residents are paying less and using 5% more green renewable electricity. Residents can opt in to buy 100% green renewable electricity by paying several cents more per kWh. If you live in Gloucester, click the link above to calculate how much it would cost for you... and if you can afford the extra expense, we really encourage you to do that!

Learn more:

Climate Arts Group

The prevalence and persistence of Covid-19 means that the Climate Arts group cannot realistically organize either a live or online Climate Arts Festival in Cape Ann, in November 2020. We will work towards a Climate Arts Festival in 2021, date to be determined.

The Climate Arts group is open to suggestions of other arts-related ideas that help communicate the effects and possible solutions of climate change on Cape Ann. The climate emergency story of Cape Ann is one that still urgently needs to be told to Cape Ann residents and government officials. Art has a major role to play in creating an ongoing narrative on climate change. Looking forward to discussions on this topic with the Climate Arts group.

Carbon Sequestration Group

The Carbon Capture and Sequestration group is monitoring the Town of Rockport's approval process for the tree policy that our members helped develop. Understandably, this policy is not a priority for the Town during the COVID-19 emergency.

Vision, Policy, Legislation Group

Our VPL Workgroup holds a monthly meeting on the second or third Sunday evening of the month.

The Vision group has been active with planning a possible Harvard study of mitigation adaptation and resilience scenarios for all of Cape Ann. See the separate report below on the Harvard Study.

The Policy Group is working on three topics in separate groups:

  • Waste Innovation Collaborative: this group is working on options for a new approach to waste on Cape Ann that would include both sewerage, plastics, and other biomass as in fish waste. This is a possible focus area for the Harvard study, among many others.
  • Managed Retreat: Rising seas are a definite threat to our way of life on Cape Ann, and policies to address this are a focus area of this group.
  • Divestment in Fossil Fuel companies: this group has resulted in two of the TownGreen2025 webinars being held, which will address both institutional investments in endowments and pension funds and personal investments in mutual funds and credit cards.

The Legislature Group is working on advocating for mitigation, adaption and resilience legislation that will affect Cape Ann directly. There will be a survey soon of all 160 coalition members that will ask people to rate in 12 different focus areas for climate legislation that they are interested in seeing prioritized, and perhaps help advocate for. Please take some time to fill out the survey when it shows out in your inbox. The results of the survey will be shown at the upcoming Coalition all-member meeting on June 25.

This group recently was advocating for the Gloucester City Council to pass a resolution supporting the Futures Act ( see below) which was successfully passed, with the advocacy also of the Gloucester Clean Energy Commission. This bill will probably not pass this year but is gaining momentum for future years. ( no pun intended)

As the legislative group learns more about the intricacies of effective advocacy and lobbying, we would like everyone to learn more about the process of legislating in Massachusetts. So Marcia Hart has written an outline of how a bill goes from concept to passage, a process that usually takes at least 2-3 years and often longer. See the Legislative outline of this process below.

Read more:
Harvard Resilience Study Cape Ann | Legislative Process in Our State

Community Building/Education Group

The CBE met on May 12 &19 for a general review of our actions to date and to brainstorm new ideas moving forward.

We have recently created a Cape Ann Climate Coalition Facebook page to hi-light local actions dealing with climate change. We would like to encourage everyone to “like” this page and become part of the sharing of local pictures, ideas, and information around climate change. We hope this becomes a community gathering place to share climate-related information. Please “like” and then “share”!

We are designing informational pages on where and how to easily locate and buy local fish and produce as a way to reduce our Foodprint. A Foodprint is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking, and disposing of the food you eat. Buying locally avoids transportation miles using fossil fuels that produce large amounts of greenhouse gasses. It also ensures that our food hasn’t been refrigerated for hours or even days, which also produces mass amounts of greenhouse gasses.

Sadly, we recently lost a valued member of this group, Liz Duff. Liz was a true environmentalist who worked for many years at Mass Audubon, and in our local schools inspiring future generations of environmentalists. This is a huge blow for us and the environmental community of Cape Ann.

"If we care about wildlife, we care about salt marshes; if we care about flood protection, storm protection, we care about salt marshes,"

Care of Creation Group

The Peace and Justice Committee of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Lanesville, a member of Care of Creation, is sponsoring this webinar as part of their year-long speaker series on climate change.

Waste Reduction and Why It Matters
Thu, Jun 18, 2020 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT
Presented by Sharon Byrne Kishida
Mass DEP, Municipal Waste Reduction Branch
Northeast District 2 Coordinator

To register for this “Go to Webinar” click Register Here. Send your questions to:

Do One Thing

Use and donate

When customers log onto to purchase an item, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization selected by the customer. is an alternative website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy all the same wide selection of products, low prices, reward points, and convenient shopping features as on but also donates 0.5% of each purchase to your favorite nonprofit.

If you do not already take advantage of this charitable giving option please do ASAP.

You can choose any of the nonprofits listed, but we urge you ( please) to choose The Gloucester Meeting Foundation because it is the 501(c)(3) that the Cape Ann Climate Coalition is using to collect $$$ from the AmazonSmile Foundation. This will help the coalition immensely because we have had to rely on individual donations or TownGreen2025 for expenses.

Here's how to shop AmazonSmile:

1. Visit

2. Sign in with your credentials

3. Search for the charity of your choice

4. Select your charity

4. Start shopping!

5. Add a bookmark for to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile

Posted by Susan Hoague

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