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October Climate Updates
 

MV Vision Fellowship Launches
New Energy Positions

The Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship has funded two new energy positions for the Island - an Energy Planner at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) and an Energy Transition Coordinator at Vineyard Power. These unique awards represent a deliberate experiment by the Vision Fellowship to respond to the pressing need for Martha’s Vineyard to become energy resilient as quickly as possible. The two new positions will collaborate with the MVC Climate Planner Liz Durkee, who, until now, was the only person employed on-Island full-time to focus on climate.

Kate Warner, will serve as the Energy Planner, and Dion Alley, as the Energy Transition Coordinator. Kate and Dion have been engaged on an interim basis to begin the groundwork of establishing these new positions. They bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to these roles, which will help accelerate the work once full-time candidates are found to fill their shoes.

As the Energy Planner, Kate will focus on influencing major Island players whose actions will determine the Island’s energy future. She will coordinate municipal-level projects and will help shape state and local policies to support the Island’s energy transition and energy resilience.
As the Energy Transition Coordinator, Dion will play a key role in empowering Islanders and businesses to make the transition to 100% electric from renewable energy sources by 2040 by offering educational resources and technical support.

Both positions are designed to be full-time, long-term staff positions. Qualified candidates are now being sought for these long-term positions. If you are interested or have ideas as to viable candidates, please contact Melissa Hackney at the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship.

Biodiversity Becomes the Desired Crop at
the IGI Farm

Please join IGI TOMORROW! Friday September 30th at 3pm at the West Tisbury Library for presentation of the biodiversity plan created to enhance native habitat at the IGI Farm and support at-risk pollinators. Evan Abramson of Landscape Interactions developed the plan with IGI and will lead the presentation. The event is free and open to the public.

On Saturday October 1st from 10am - 2pm, IGI will begin by installing the first hedgerow at the IGI Farm. They need some volunteer help! It is a great opportunity to learn more and might inspire you to do a similar project in your own yard. If you are interested, sign up here. This is a drop in event. Registration is suggested but not required. For questions email Mary Sage Napolitan. View flyer here.

Safeguarding and enriching our local biodiversity and native habitat is a critical part of building our climate resilience. We do this most powerfully when we protect open space, but we also add significant value when we treat our yards, farms, schools and other developed spaces as part of this network that can help provide wildlife with food, shelter and connectivity between conserved lands. 

BOEM Visits Aquinnah Town Hall to Discuss Eversource Offshore Wind Project

Tuesday October 4th at 5:00 pm the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an in person meeting to hear from the public about Revolution Wind. This Eversource project will serve Rhode Island and Connecticut but will be visible from the Vineyard. 

BOEM issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project this month. The DEIS is a federal analysis of the environmental impacts of a project and is available to read here: Revolution Wind | Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (boem.gov). Now stakeholders can review and provide public comment.  
 
There will be two virtual public meetings early this fall as well. Feedback at these, and the in person meetings, will help to inform the project design before BOEM issues the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

Bat Night at the Edgartown Library

Tuesday October 4th at 5:30pm the Edgartown Library will host Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth of Filmtruth Productions for a screening of their short documentary showcasing the local bat research being done by BiodiversityWorks. Following the film, BiodiversityWorks assistant director and field biologist, Liz Olson, will share more details about the research, how people can help and take questions. Visit the event listing for more info! 

Composting and Perennial Edibles

Saturday October 15th at 10:30 am join Island Grown and Roxanne Kapitan to learn more about home composting and planting perennial edibles at Roxanne's home in Oak Bluffs. Register here!
Food waste is a significant contributor to climate change for a host of reasons -- wasted inputs to production, transportation, water, and more. The rotting food sitting in our landfills also directly contributes significant greenhouse gases, by producing a huge amount of methane. Alternatively, if the waste is composted, microbes convert the organic matter into nutrient rich soil which is a win-win -- keeping the emissions out of the atmosphere and providing us with fertilizer!  

Project Drawdown estimates that increasing composting around the world would have a carbon emissions savings roughly equal to taking 15 million cars off the road for 30 years.  The Washington Post has this great article to learn more about the scope of the food waste problem as relates to climate change.

Climate Cafes Are Back!
This month: Housing and the Climate Crisis 

On Tuesday October 16th from 10-11:00 am at Rosewater Cafe the annual student led climate discussion series begins. This program runs once a month through April and is organized and led by high school students from the MVRHS Protect Your Environment Club and MV Charter School with help from MA Audubon Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. At this first cafe the conversation will focus on how housing is impacted by climate change. These cafes are a great opportunity to gather as a community and tease out the issues we face together in light of our changing climate. Please come listen and lend your voice.

The MV Coastal Conference Returns!
Monday October 24 from 9am - 5:30pm, the Coastal Conference will convene in person at the MV Film Center. This gathering is a great resource for coastal managers, environmental organizations, town officials, town board members and staff and anyone interested in learning more about the impacts of erosion, storms, sea level rise, salt marsh migration and more. 
Learn more and check back here for registration
(which should open on September 30)
Questions can be directed to Greg Berman and Steve McKenna  

 


Net Zero Conference

On October 28th, beginning at 8:30 am the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative will host its fifth annual Net Zero Conference. This year's gathering will focus on how local climate work might be energized by recent landmark legislation at the state and federal level. The conference is virtual, free and open to all who are interested in learning more. 

For more information and registration visit the conference website.

On Our Watch
Now Available to Stream Online

This past summer, filmmaker Ollie Becker released his new documentary focused on concerns about the health of our Island's Great Ponds. The film is a collaboration between Vineyard Conservation Society and Circuit Arts (formerly MV Film Festival). This is the first of a three part series dedicated to exploring solutions and raising awareness about how these treasured local water bodies are struggling under the various stresses that our human actions place on them -- notably development, with its associated nitrogen inputs, and the loss of open space. These problems are only amplified by the impacts of climate change. 

The film is now available to stream online! Please share the link with others. The goal of this collaboration is to spread this message far and wide so that we might better understand and make the changes needed to save these special places. 

News From the Climate Action Plan

What's Been Done:

*The Plan is being shared island-wide with presentations to Select Boards. 
*Coordination with all the individuals and organizations leading the plan implementation.
*Two new energy positions through the Vineyard Vision Fellowship (read more at the end of the newsletter)
 
What's Coming Up:
*Remaining Select Board Presentations:
Chilmark, Tuesday, October 4, meeting starts at 5 pm, via Zoom
Oak Bluffs, Tuesday, October 11, 4:30 pm, OB Town Hall
(These are start times, check meeting agendas to see where the presentation falls in the lineup)

Want to Get Involved:
We would love to share the plan with YOU! Do you have an organization or group that would like to hear a presentation about the CAP and learn how to become engaged? Please contact Liz Durkee. This plan is meant to involve all sectors of our community so please learn more and join in!

Please keep checking back on our progress at  The Vineyard Way website

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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