Sierra Club And Clean Air Council Excited To Kick Off Delaware's First Sea Level Rise Awareness Week
14 groups are partnering on activities statewide from Sept 14 – 22.
With the lowest mean elevation in the U.S. at just 60 feet, some coastal communities in Delaware are already experiencing the impacts of sea level rise. In response, a campaign to raise public awareness about sea level rise and its impact on Delaware is being sponsored by 14 organizations. Delaware’s first Sea Level Rise Awareness Week runs from September 14 – 22, 2013. The campaign is called S.O.S. Delaware. A press conference announcing the effort was held on September 12 at the DuPont Environmental Education Center on the Wilmington Riverfront.
Local officials invited to speak at the press conference included Governor Jack Markell, who signed Executive Order 41 creating a Governor's Committee on climate and resiliency during the event; Shawn M. Garvin, Administrator for EPA's Mid-Atlantic Region and DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara. Also at the podium were the Executive Directors of two of the fourteen cosponsoring environmental organizations: Brian Winslow of the Delaware Nature Society and Kate Hackett of Delaware Wild Lands.
A new website with acalendar of events, a video made just for the week and links to all of the sponsoring organizations can be found at: SOSDelaware.org. A variety of resources can be downloaded from the website including a fact sheet brochure that features a variety of actions individuals can take to minimize the consequences of sea level rise.
The Delaware legislature endorsed this statewide initiative. In June the 147th General Assembly passed a House Concurrent Resolution (HRC-17) officially proclaiming September 14 – 22 as Sea Level Rise Awareness Week.
“Greenhouse gas emissions that currently impact sea level rise are a huge concern “, stated Thurman Brendlinger, Program Director of Clean Air Council. “Simple energy saving measures can be taken right now to stem the tide of global warming.”
John Irwin, Chair of the Delaware Chapter of Sierra Club had the following to say in response to the press event: “This could be the beginning of the action Delawareans have been waiting for on climate change. Delaware has as much to lose as any state to increasing sea level and more severe storms. Extreme weather patterns that bring droughts, floods and increasing water salinity will disproportionately impact our family farmers, watermen and the thriving tourism industry that make up the backbone of our state economy. We are thrilled to be working with Clean Air Council, Delaware Center for Horticulture and all of these groups to bring awareness to the problem of sea level rise and share solutions that are already being implemented to mitigate flooding right here in Wilmington through our event next Wednesday at The DCH”.
As urban areas cover the land with roads and buildings, the vital services provided by our natural environment begin to fail. Storm water flushes pollution into our rivers instead of soaking into the ground. Our cities heat up causing an increase in energy costs and adding to climate change. Without sufficient trees and gardens the quality of our air and water declines along with our quality of life.
The good news is that solutions are possible and Delaware is home to many state-of-the-art green infrastructure installations. Join us on September 18that 7pm to learn about green roofs, rain gardens, tree trenches, and more. Gary Schwetz, Environmental Engineer at the Delaware Center for Horticulture will present on a variety of green infrastructure techniques and show us examples of these best management practices at work in New Castle County. Visit http://thedch.org/greensolutionsfor more information and to register for the event.
The 14 collaborative sponsors of Delaware Sea Level Rise Awareness Week are:
• Delaware Nature Society
• Delaware Center for Horticulture
• Delaware Wild Lands
• Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
• Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
• The Nature Conservancy – Delaware Chapter
• Clean Air Council
• Sierra Club – Delaware Chapter
• Delaware Interfaith Power & Light
• Delaware Greenways
• GreenWatch Institute
• League of Women Voters of Delaware
• Delmarva Ornithological Society
• Delaware Audubon
SOURCE: Sierra Club