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CLIMATE UPDATES for MARCH 
Looking Towards Spring


Vineyard Wind Announces Major Step Forward!

On March 8 the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Vineyard Wind I offshore wind project. This marks a major milestone for this first-in-nation project. Beyond benefits of renewable energy availability for this area, the success of this project maps a way forward for a broader shift in energy development nationwide. To learn more about this achievement read the press releases from Vineyard Wind and the US Department of the Interior.  


What is Next for the MA Climate Bill?

In February, Baker sent the second attempt at a next generation climate bill back to the legislature with amendments. It now remains to be seen whether State lawmakers will accept the amended bill or go ahead with their original draft, despite Bakers objections. There appears to be enough support to get the majority needed to pass the bill as originally written, if lawmakers opt for that path. Read more about the bill and the proposed amendments here.  
Lessons in Resilience
Last month unprecedented cold in Texas shined a light on how unprepared those communities and their utility companies were for extreme weather. Their resulting struggle reinforces the need for all communities to prepare for resilience. Please take a look at the Climate Solution post on our website that addresses what resilience could look like for the Vineyard. Also keep an eye out in the MV Times for our next Climate Solutions box about battery technology.    
Community Solar Opportunity
There is still space in a Community Supported Solar project in Plymouth, MA offering a 15% discount. Community Solar allows you to save money and support the renewable energy transition without having to install an array on your own property.  The power generated from this mainland project can be attributed to your island electrical use!  Contact Self Reliance to hear more.
Offerings from the Compact
Cape Light Compact is sponsoring three “energy educator” workshops in partnership with the National Energy Education Development Project this spring. These events are no-cost to educators and count towards professional development credits. To hear more and register, click here.   
The Compact has also created two new webpages to better help connect renters and income-qualified customers to our energy efficiency programs. Renters and income-qualified customers are eligible for 100% off the cost of insulation and air sealing after a Home Energy Assessment. Details and the links to sign up are on both the pages. Renters: https://www.capelightcompact.org/renters/ 
Income Qualified: https://www.capelightcompact.org/income-eligible-offerings/
Composting for the Climate
Please take a moment to read the beautiful blog post by Eunice Youmans and hear her reflections on how important food waste reduction is for mitigating climate change.  Setting up a home compost system is a great way to celebrate the oncoming growing season, while taking action on climate. Eunice also shares details about the local economics of managing our island's food waste, which are noteworthy, as there are upcoming municipal options for composting that will need our community support.  
Join the Climate Cafe Conversation 
On March 28th at 3 pm, listen in or share your thoughts at the next Climate Cafe. This community forum is convened by high school students from the MV Public Charter School and MA Audubon. They would love your participation! Find their poster here with a QR code for a zoom link and additional meeting dates. 
Climate on the Warrant at Spring Town Meetings
Annual Town Meeting dates are being finalized, but we know there will be multiple climate-forward initiatives to keep an eye on.
The 100% renewable energy resolution will be on the warrant in Edgartown, Chilmark and Tisbury.  Oak Bluffs will be voting on becoming a MA Green Community Contact your town's VSEC member to help support these efforts.

All island towns will be voting on utilizing a grant to purchase two electric school buses!
Stay tuned!

Better Understanding Our Wildfire Risk

The MVC is currently working on an extensive assessment of the Island's wildfire risk. A MEMA grant-funded consultant aided by insights from our conservation organizations, a fire chief, the Airport, a building inspector and the State Forest is putting together a report that will assign risk -from low to extreme- for all parts of the island. Draft findings should be available mid-summer and aim to offer a range of suggestions to mitigate risk - from actions for individual homeowners to those requiring town and regional coordination. 

Thank You

As always we end with our thanks for your care and action on climate issues. Please share this newsletter with friends and encourage others to join our mailing list. There is much to be done.

Climate change is the single biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be bigger is our movement to stop it. – Bill McKibben
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