Camden to talk about climate with neighbors

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Camden is talking about the climate, within the community, and with neighboring towns. As part of an energetic effort by the town to educate and prioritize climate planning, citizen’s group Camden Climate Action Now (CamdenCAN) is organizing a Camden Talks Climate series of events this winter, starting Thursday, Nov. 16, with “Camden’s Neighbors on Climate Action: Tales of Hope and Activism from Belfast to Vinalhaven (and Elsewhere!).” 
The event is co-sponsored by the town itself and will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the French Conference Room on Washington Street. (Join meeting with this link. ) Esperanza Stancioff, of Camden, will moderate a panel discussion involving Shey Conover, of Islesoboro; Gabe McPhail, of Vinalhaven; Jon Beal, of Belfast; Julie Hashem, of Rockland; and and Bill Bow, of Rockport.
Communities in Maine are forming climate committees, measuring greenhouse gas emissions, and convening conversations to set local priorities in a warming world. Supported by the state’s climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, Mainers are learning what is needed to cope with sea-level rise, more intense storms and rainfall, and other unprecedented changes.
Camden has installed a solar array on town property at Sagamore Farm and holding a series of instructive “Let’s Talk About Energy” online events during the pandemic.
It is also bordered by other communities that have taken steps, large and small, to actively prepare for climate change and resulting sea-level rise. The stories told by the panelists include victories and setbacks, personalities and pandemic stagnation, as well as successful adaptation of changes and plans that will make their communities climate resilient. 
The panel discussion will focus on learning from neighboring communities in preparation for developing Camden’s own climate action plan. The next step will be a second Camden Talks Climate panel presentation, Dec. 7, at the Camden Public Library, examining “Where Does Camden Stand on Climate Action?”
Besides being a founding member of CamdenCAN, Nov. 16 moderator Esperanza Stancioff is a University of Maine professor emerita. In her 34 years with Maine Sea Grant and UMaine Cooperative Extension, Stancioff designed and implemented outreach, applied research and educational programs for high-priority areas in marine and coastal ecosystems, and served as lead for both organizations in climate change adaptation. 
Panelist Gabe McPhail has lived on Vinalhaven for 15 years. She owns and operates Resilient Communities, L3C, a planning organization focused on building community and climate resilience. McPhail also manages a regional collaborative supporting Southern and Midcoast Maine communities enrolled in the Community Resilience Partnership; is an active member of the Vinalhaven Sea Level Rise Committee; and helps manage Vinalhaven’s Downtown Project, a multi-million-dollar infrastructure improvement project incorporating climate adaptations.
Jon Beal of Belfast, is a retired attorney who worked at the NLRB office in Boston, and later practiced in Maine, representing labor unions, workers, and disabled persons. He is currently helping raise organic strawberries and other fruit in Belfast. Jon was a founding member (2018) and chair (2019-21) of Belfast’s Climate Crisis Committee and is currently chair of its successor, Belfast Climate, Energy, and Utilities Committee. 
Shey Conover, of Islesboro, is a small business owner focused on aquaculture and marine services. She is chair of the Islesboro Select Board, and also of Islesboro's Sea Level Rise Committee.
Julie Hashem is Community Development Director for the city of Rockland. In that role, Julie focuses on economic, environmental, and community resilience. This has included helping Rockland reduce energy costs and emissions through solar and energy efficiency, managing a project to redesign Rockland’s downtown waterfront for greater storm resilience, and hiring a coordinator to collaborate with the city’s Energy and Sustainability Committee and across city departments to advance the city’s objectives.
Bill Bow, of Rockport, is a retired environmental consultant, who supported multinational clients on contamination, compliance, and due diligence matters. He is a member of the Rockport Conservation Commission, currently focusing on water quality monitoring, completing a GHG emissions inventory for the town, and developing siting options for a new wastewater treatment facility. 
CamdenCAN (ClimateActionNow) is a citizen-led organization committed to reducing Camdens contribution to climate change through local action, education, advocacy, and resources. We help our community take advantage of climate solutions with actionable steps. Together we CAN make a difference.


Event Date: 

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm