The Wellfleet Community Forum, in conjunction with the Mass Audubon Society and the Wellfleet Conservation Trust will host presentations and panel discussions on “Planning for Climate Change” at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday May 4 2013 at the Wellfleet Bay Audubon Sanctuary from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. This will be followed by Community Walks from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM in the afternoon.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the Town of Wellfleet. Much has changed since we became a town. This panel discussion looks at what we might expect in the next 250 years in terms of climate change. We are facing changes to our climate that will impact the future of our town, and we believe that the solutions lie within us working together.
Dan Wolf, State Senator, will offer introductory remarks.
Greg Berman, Coastal Processes Specialist, Woods Hole Sea Grant, will discussExpected Changes in Wellfleet due to a Dynamic Climate
Nicholas A. Robinson, Professor of Environmental Law, Pace University, will discussStrategies for Adaptation: Motivating Community Participation and Preparation
Judith Pederson, Ph.D., MIT Sea Grant Advisory Leader, will present Adaptation: Best Practices for Short-Term Solutions and Long-Term Changes
Additional panelists will be Heidi Ricci, Senior Policy Analyst, Mass Audubon and Marcus Springer, Chair, Energy Committee at the Town of Wellfleet
The afternoon walks will be “Reading the History of the Landscape at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary” with Mass Audubon naturalist Dennis Murley, “Herring River Restoration with John Portnoy”, retired ecologist, National Park Service, and “Walking Whalebone Point” with Wellfleet Conservation Trust President Dennis O’Connell.
The forum is free and open to all.
9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Check-in
9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Remarks from honored guest Senator Dan Wolf
9:30 a.m. Greg Berman, Coastal Processes Specialist, Woods Hole Sea Grant
Expected Changes in Wellfleet due to a Dynamic Climate
Climate change can mean many things to different people. In addition to warmer temperatures, invasive species, and ocean acidification, an immediate concern among low-lying communities in Wellfleet is a rising sea level. Predicting and mapping the effects of the changing frequency and intensity of coastal storms as well as sea-level rise is important because of the high vulnerability and potentially high costs associated with these effects in developed coastal areas. Learn more about historic and recent sea level rise, along with a range of relative sea level rise projections and the associated potential local impacts.
10 a.m. Nicholas A. Robinson, Professor of Environmental Law, Pace University
Strategies for Adaptation: Motivating Community Participation and Preparation
Earth has entered a new epoch of geological time, “The Anthropocene.” Changing conditions challenge everyone to adapt and innovate. Those communities that cooperate together, study and learn how to design with nature , and shape resilient practices into their lives will weather the new times infinitely better than those failing to do so. The next generation of environmental laws is being crafted at the local level all around the world, not in the capitals or international organizations. Wellfleet, and the Cape, are environmental world leaders in many ways already, but coming challenges oblige us to rethink our leadership. Community participation is essential to leveraging the deep social evolution that the Anthropocene requires. Together we shall explore new strategies.
10:30 a.m. Judith Pederson, Ph.D., MIT Sea Grant Advisory Leader
Adaptation: Best Practices for Short-Term Solutions and Long-Term Changes
Adaptation means learning to live with change, whereas mitigation is our attempt to reduce the change. There is a suite of options for adapting to climate change impacts that include bolstering natural systems that mitigate storm damageand making structural changes to existing buildings. This discussion will explore what other towns in Massachusetts and elsewhere are doing to adapt to climate change. We’ll evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken and explore how this might relate to Wellfleet.
11 a.m. 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Panel discussion with above speakers and with Heidi Ricci, Senior Policy Analyst, Mass Audubon, and Marcus Springer, Chair, Energy Committee at the Town of Wellfleet
12:15 – 12:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
2 p.m. Guided Community Walks
– Reading the History of the Landscape at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary with Mass Audubon naturalist Dennis Murley
– Herring River Restoration with John Portnoy, retired ecologist, National Park Service
– Walking Whalebone Point with Wellfleet Conservation Trust President Dennis O’Connell