Climate Adaptation Week
Date: October 7-9, 2013
Location: Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Erie PA
Four organizations came together to engage elements of the community as part of a broader effort to build a more resilient community in the city of Erie and the surrounding region.
Freshwater Future, Environment Erie, PA Sea Grant and the NW Pennsylvania Green Economy Task Forcecollaborated with support from Highmark and Erie Insurance, to organize and host the event. Over three days in October three distinct audiences were chosen to consider how the changing climate is and will continue to impact their work. The common theme was to explore proactive ways to incorporate the changing climate into long-term planning and projects. The three audiences included: community groups engaged in on-the-ground work; researchers engaged in scientific work that while not focusing on climate change may well be impacted by environmental changes associated with climate change; and facility managers and municipal officials who must plan for future conditions and respond to immediate needs – particularly stormwater management.
In addition to the formal workshop time, Climate Adaptation Week also included a Wednesday luncheon speaker and two social activities. Over lunch on Wednesday, Andy Walker, Assistant City Manager of Meadville, shared the efforts he helped lead to establish a stormwater plan and financing mechanism for the City of Meadville. Meadville is one of only three Pennsylvania cities to institute a stormwater management fee tied to the impervious surface area of all landowners. In addition, Matt Grey of the Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability provided a happy hour presentation which gave an overview of Cleveland sustainability efforts and their recently completed Climate Action Plan.