April 2023

Reflections on Earth Day 2023

Reflections on Earth Day 2023

Dear Friends,
When we started TownGreen in 2015, the level of understanding of the threat of climate change was not widespread. Yes, TownGreen had some good Sustainability Fairs with large attendance, and we had a nice solarize campaign in 2017-2018 with well over 100 roof installations at discounted prices. But was there a general awareness that our very existence on the coast was threatened by sea level rise, extreme heat, and more severe climate threats? Not really.

Now, eight short years later, the tide of public opinion is quickly changing. I am heartened by the rapid growth of support for climate action. TownGreen’s community education programs, informed by the valuable research from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, brings climate change home to our local neighborhoods and beloved icons of Cape Ann, such as Good Harbor Beach. Our programs are resulting in a heightened community awareness of climate impacts and increasing threats to our region. The challenge now is to identify and implement mitigation and adaptation strategies as best we can.

I am thankful for the large numbers of people who have made a difference by supporting TownGreen. There are literally hundreds of you who have contributed to our annual fund, who regularly attend TownGreen webinars and in-person events, and lend your hearts and minds to concrete climate action. Thank you. There is no greater mission than being in this climate fight to save our Cape Ann community for future generations. We are grateful to be working alongside such a wonderful group of friends.

All the best on Earth Day 2023!
Dick Prouty, Chair, TownGreen Board of Directors

And at City Hall at 1:00PM on Earth Day…

And at City Hall at 1:00PM on Earth Day…

Mayor Greg Verga invites you to the City of Gloucester’s Earth Day Ceremony at City Hall Saturday, April 22nd at 1:00pm for the first official tree planted at City Hall as part of the 400 Tree Project in recognition of Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary. The Mayor will announce a new City resource for residents and businesses to take climate action in all aspects of their lives.

Register for the Final Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem Webinar on Adaptation Solutions

The final webinar in the Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem series on Wednesday, May 24th 6:30-8:30pm (register here) will review adaptation and implementation solutions. We will hear from Professor Charles Waldheim and Kira Clingen from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design who will outline adaptation solutions, show visuals, and offer specific details about how adaptation might work at Good Harbor Beach. The webinar will feature special guest speakers and will conclude with a community engagement session and Q&A.

Climate Expert To Speak on Financing Climate Adaptation

Jesse M. Keenan

The Harvard Graduate School of Design's Office for Urbanization is hosting another webinar in its Cape Ann Conversations: Changing Coastal Communities series.

Jesse M. Keenan, the Favrot II Associate Professor of Sustainable Real Estate within the faculty of the School of Architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, will speak on May 10th at 12:00pm (register here). His topic will be Financing Climate Adaptation. Keenan’s teaching and research is centered on how people prepare for and respond to climate impacts in the built environment, including aspects of design, planning, management, policy, and finance.

Cape Ann Conversations is a program of the Harvard Graduate School of Design's Office for Urbanization as part of its ongoing multi-year climate adaptation research project for Cape Ann, undertaken in collaboration with TownGreen, Water Alliance, the City of Gloucester, the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Cape Ann Climate Coalition.

Watch the Rockport Webinar on Adaptation Solutions

Part 1 and Part 2

Rockport Workshop: Adaptation Solutions, Part 1

Rockport Workshop: Adaptation Solutions, Part 2

News from Gloucester’s EDIC

News from Gloucester’s EDIC

The Gloucester Economic Development and Industrial Corporation is in the early stages of an initiative to ensure that businesses and industries in Gloucester have sufficient energy capacity and power quality to grow well into the future. The EDIC has engaged a firm, Daymark Energy Advisors, to first conduct a current conditions assessment and gap analysis. They are looking at publicly available information associated with the transmission and distribution systems serving Gloucester, including current or proposed interconnect plans for renewable energy. They are also speaking with select stakeholders (e.g., large energy users), and evaluating National Grid's plans for upgrades and expansion in the area. Given that electric power networks and markets are in the midst of a major transformation to address climate concerns that involve increased use of electricity and growing dependence on renewable resources, the EDIC believes that this work is strategically critical to the future of the City's economic base. This first phase should be completed by June 2023.

About Gloucester's EDIC
The Gloucester EDIC's statutory authority limits it to manufacturing and industrial economic development. Its mission is to retain existing businesses and create new economic opportunities within the City of Gloucester by:

  • Identifying expansion opportunities for traditional and emerging industries consistent with EDIC authority and resources;
  • Maximizing the economic value of assets originally developed under EDIC authority; and,
  • Being an advocate for projects and policies that support job creation and economic growth.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 22 9:00am
Good Harbor Beach, Earth Day Beach Clean Up
. Rory McCarthy from Clean the Creek says, "We are honoring Earth Month and Earth Day by partnering with the Piping Plover Ambassadors, Cape Ann Climate Coalition Interfaith Group, and the Annisquam Village Church Creation Care Team for a Good Harbor Beach Clean Up on Saturday, April 22nd at 9:00am. We will gather together to clean the beach, do a low-tide creek walk, and brainstorm ways to Clean The Creek. Meet on the beach by the foot bridge."

Saturday, April 22 1:00pm
City of Gloucester’s Earth Day Ceremony at City Hall Saturday, April 22nd at 1:00pm for the first official tree planted at City Hall as part of the 400 Tree Project in recognition of Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary.

Saturday, April 22 6:00-8:00pm
Cape Ann Climate Coalition's A Celebration of Climate Action Potluck Supper and Screening of the Documentary film #StopPeabodyPeaker with a discussion after the movie at Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church 10 Church Street, Gloucester. This event is free. Bring a dish, dine with climate friends, and watch a compelling documentary by North Shore filmmaker Steve Andrada that tells the story of the community opposition and key issues related to the new fossil fuel "peaker" plant being built in Peabody's environmental justice zone.

Tuesday, May 9 7:00-8:00pm
TownGreen Open Forum:
Zoom link Wednesday, May 10th at 12:00pm
Jesse" class="redactor-autoparser-object">https://zoom.us/j/99581106486?... M. Keenan, Associate Professor of Sustainable Real Estate at the School of Architecture at Tulane University, Financing Climate Adaptations (Register here)

Wednesday, May 24 6:30-8:30pm
Good Harbor Beach Workshop Webinar #3: Adaptation Solutions for the Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem (Register here)