By Joy Reo & Susan Edwards
The CounterAct Climate Change Project hosted an eye-opening and impressive program on “Protecting the Mystic River Watershed from Climate Change.” Thank you, Julie Wormser, MyRWA Deputy Director, and Erica Wood, MyRWA Communications and Outreach Manager for so generously giving your time and expertise! And, to our wonderful audience, thank you for your important questions and comments!
If you missed the live event, you must see the recording.Also, head to MyRWA’s web site to sign up for their e-news, find volunteer opportunities, donate, or learn more about this urban watershed organization.
We think you’ll agree that the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is doing amazing work. In addition to addressing the issues of water quality and environmental preservation in the watershed, the MyRWA team documents and educates people about the negative impacts of climate change, researches solutions, and works with stakeholders from across 21 communities, paying special attention to the health, housing and livelihood of the watershed’s most vulnerable residents.
What are some of the impacts of a volatile climate on this urban, coastal watershed? Here are a few: more dramatic flooding events due to sea level rise and high-intensity storms, threatening lives and livelihoods; adverse and dangerous water quality from stormwater run-off and sewerage contamination; and dangerous “heat islands” as a result of increasing temperatures coupled with dark urban pavement and rooftops.
We are all in this together. Our renowned Boston-area hospitals, universities, industries, culture, and unique natural environment are under threat. As Julie Wormser pointed out, “Boston needs to be prepared to accept climate refugees.” To plan for this future scenario, MyRWA’s work involves conversations about zoning and urban planning, with citizens as well as local and state officials, and sometimes federal agencies.
Two years ago, with generous support from the Barr Foundation, MyRWA launched the Resilient Mystic Collaborative. Within 18 months, the RMC grew to 19 communities covering 95 % of the watershed, and has raised over $1.7 million for regional climate resilience projects. Learn more here: https://resilient.mysticriver.org.
We encourage you to share our video far and wide. Think about sharing it with your town conservation commission, and local elected officials such as state representatives or town managers. And, of course, share it with a watershed association in your area!
Please save the dates for our upcoming programs in January and February!
- Wednesday, January 27, 7:30-8:30 pm: “The Links Between Light Pollution and Climate Change,” presented by Tim Brothers, manager of MIT’s Wallace Astrophysical Observatory and vice president of the Massachusetts chapter of the International Dark Sky Association.
- Wednesday, February 17, 7:30-8:30 pm: “Biochar as a Solution to Climate Change,” presented by Kathleen Draper, US Director of the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence, and Michael Garjian, President/CEO of Vee-Go Energy.