Climate Action Planning for the Vineyard’s Future, by Liz Durkee, MVC Climate Planner
This month the Martha’s Vineyard Commission kicks off development of the Vineyard and Gosnold Climate Action Plan (CAP).
Climate change will affect every aspect of our lives – the land and water, our human health, our food supply, and the Island economy. Impacts include coastal flooding and beach erosion, wildfire risks, increased ticks and respiratory ailments, and economic impacts from extreme weather.
The CAP will take an Island-wide approach to explore these and other issues and identify long-term goals, priority actions, and implementation steps that build our social, environmental, and economic resilience and minimize our contributions to its causes. The CAP will be entirely locally led to build on the extensive amount of local experience and knowledge that exists to address our priorities and needs. It will be developed through six thematic working groups made up of community members including representatives from town, tribal and county governments, non-profits, and the private sector:
- land use and natural resources
- infrastructure and transportation
- public health and safety
- food security
- economic resilience
- energy transformation.
The CAP will strive to build self-sufficiency at an Island-wide scale. Rather than competing for limited funding, the towns can collaborate on common impacts.
The CAP process includes a series of outreach and engagement events throughout the year for the broader community to participate. This includes monthly events around working group thematic areas, including student-led Climate Café’s. The events will culminate in a May during “Climate Week”, a week-long series of events around the island hosted by a wide array of organizations to promote climate action.
The CAP will be shared on a public, interactive website that tracks progress on implementation of resilience strategies and provides ongoing community engagement opportunities. The MVC climate change planner will provide on-going coordination and implementation support to ensure the plan is implemented.
There will be various ways to participate in CAP events throughout the year. Outreach and engagement events will be posted on the ICAN website and advertised Island-wide. Please keep an eye out for these events and join your Island community in taking climate action now!