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Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 27, 2021
Area towns to meet June 4 to address climate change regionally

Increasingly aware of the need for regional action to address the effects of climate change on the Blue Hill Peninsula, town officials and community members are scheduled to meet on Friday, June 4, to explore potential cooperative efforts.

Dr. Susie Arnold of the Island Institute, which is helping to facilitate the meeting, will update participants on the latest science regarding climate change. Dr. Cassaundra Rose, of Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, will review the Maine Climate Council’s recent analysis of the cost of doing nothing to address climate change.

Existing state and federal programs to help towns fund and finance climate mitigation and adaption will be outlined by Anne Fuchs, Maine Emergency Management Agency; Nathan Robbins, Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Martha Shiels, New England Environmental Finance Center, and Joyce Taylor, Maine Department of Transportation.

Also on the agenda, according to a press release, is a review of how towns can use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds created by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to fund climate-change projects such as water and sewer infrastructure upgrades.

During the meeting, the Island Institute will facilitate discussion of three questions:

What climate-change effects are you observing?

What effects are most challenging to your community?

What help does your town need most?

The event will conclude with an invitation for town officials to express interest in further collaboration over the next 12 months. Invitations to the online meeting have been sent to elected and appointed officials and community members in Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Deer Isle, Penobscot, Sedgwick, Stonington and Surry.