January 2023

TownGreen Announces Rockport Climate Impact Workshops

TownGreen will host its second round of Cape Ann climate impact workshop webinars, this time on Rockport’s Long Beach and the Downtown area, specifically the Dock Square pumping station and Bearskin Neck. The first Rockport workshop webinar will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd 6:30-8:30pm on Zoom (register here). Participants will hear from local experts who will address storm surge on Long Beach, beach erosion, associated issues due to the seawall, and damage to the salt marsh. A guided field trip to Long Beach at an astronomical high tide will be on Monday, February 20 from 10:30am to 11:30. Take Glenmere Road off Thatcher Road.  

The TownGreen program committee decided a month ago to focus the second Rockport workshop webinar on the Dock Square wastewater pumping station. The news this week of its failure during a winter rainstorm and the subsequent release of 758,000 gallons of sewage overflow that consisted, or likely consisted, of untreated or partially treated sewage and waste entering the harbor, merits a more detailed look. The impact of sea level rise and storm surge on Bearskin Neck will also be explored. The second workshop webinar will be held on Wednesday, March 8th 6:30-8:30pm on Zoom. A field trip at high tide will take place on Friday, March 24th from 2:00-3:00pm. We will meet at Barletta Park, across from Harvey Park.

The last workshop webinar in the Rockport series will look at adaptation and implementation solutions for Downtown Rockport and will be held on Wednesday, March 29th 6:30-8:30pm on Zoom. Participants will review impacts to existing structures and infrastructure and join breakout sessions to discuss questions related to climate impacts on Long Beach and Downtown Rockport. 

Check the TownGreen website for more information on updates and registration. 

Update on $500K Federal Grant for Cape Ann Emergency Preparedness During TownGreen February Open Forum

The Town of Manchester, TownGreen, Water Alliance, and Harvard University’s Future of the American City Initiative worked to secure $500,000 in federal money via a congressionally directed spending request. TownGreen will provide an overview of this project during its February Open Forum on Tuesday, February 7th 7:00-8:00pm on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/93311727171?...

A Crowd for the Good Harbor Beach Field Trip

A Crowd for the Good Harbor Beach Field Trip

Upper left and right: Participants gather round Dr. Jayne Knott to listen to her explain winter beach action at Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester. Lower left and right: Tom Mikus wades into the flooded Good Harbor Beach parking lot and field trip participants walk back to the beach.

The forecast called for rain, snow, and bad weather conditions plus an astronomical high tide - a perfect scenario for TownGreen’s field trip to Good Harbor Beach on Monday, January 23rd. A crowd of 30 people gathered at Good Harbor Beach’s Witham Street entrance to listen to Dr. Jayne Knott describe the conditions of a winter beach and the impact of storm surge and erosion. Many of the attendees were long-term residents who commented on how the normal water levels are higher and the dunes are not as tall as what they observed in childhood. The group walked the beach and headed toward the parking lot, which was flooded to knee deep levels.

Knott and others in the group discussed the inevitability of the parking lot experiencing sunny day flooding due to high tides and contemplated what solutions could be applied to protect the beach, wetland, and marsh. With sea level rise, the natural processes will attempt to move the beach, the dunes, and the wetlands landward. If there are physical barriers to this natural migration, the beach is at risk. Actions can be taken now to increase water storage in the salt marsh which will make the beach ecosystem more resilient to rising sea levels and storms. A third Good Harbor Ecosystem workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 23rd to discuss how to implement some of these actions. In addition, TownGreen’s next field trip will be to Long Beach on Monday, February 20th 11:00 am-12 noon; enter at Glenmere Road, off Thatcher Road.

TownGreen Reaches Its $30K Annual Appeal Goal

TownGreen reached its goal of raising $30,000 for its first Annual Appeal.

TownGreen reached its goal of raising $30,000 for its first Annual Appeal. Many thanks to all our donors who support TownGreen’s mission to educate the Cape Ann public on the climate impacts and threats our region faces now and in the years ahead. So many of you told us that you appreciate our work and like what you are seeing. “It’s quality programming on climate change that Cape Ann absolutely needs right now,” one donor told us. Another said that field trips are highly valuable to her: “Getting out to locations that will be impacted by climate change and seeing it for myself makes it real.”

Your generosity allows TownGreen to move forward on public education and outreach programming for 2023. You can donate to TownGreen on the website: https://towngreen2025.org

TownGreen February and March Reminders

TownGreen Open Forums

TownGreen’s Open Forums provide a summary of ongoing projects and news and allows the public to ask questions and participate in discussions regarding climate change impacts and strategies on Cape Ann.

TownGreen Planning for Reality Climate Impact Series:
Rockport's Long Beach and Downtown

  • Rockport field trip: Monday, February 20, Long Beach 10:30-11:30am (President's Day) Enter at Glenmere Road off Thatcher Road
  • Rockport Workshop Webinar #1 Long Beach: Wednesday, February 22nd 6:30-8:30pm (register here)
  • Rockport Workshop Webinar #2 Downtown Rockport with a focus on Dock Square pumping station and Bearskin Neck flooding: Wednesday, March 8 6:30-8:30pm
  • Rockport field trip: Dock Square Friday, March 24 2:00-3:00pm
    Meet at Barletta Park, across from Harvey Park
  • Rockport Workshop Webinar #3 Adaptation Solutions and Implementation: Wednesday, March 29 6:30-8:30pm
  • Final Good Harbor Beach Workshop Webinar: Thursday, March 23rd 6:30-8:00pm