Public Discussion about the Belfast Climate Action Plan
Tuesday June 14th, 6-8pm in the Abbott Room
Belfast’s Climate Action Plan draft is ready for community review:
The initial draft of Belfast’s Climate Action Plan (5/02/2022) has been created by the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee, and it is ready for your review and feedback!
Download the Climate Action Plan draft here: Climate Action Plan
If you cannot attend in person, register for the zoom link here.
"The Art of Re-Climation" Exhibit at the Kramer Gallery
April 5 - May 28, 2022 Exhibit
"The Art of Re-Climation” is a curated art exhibit shown in the Belfast Free Library's Kramer Gallery from April 5 - May 28, 2022. Pieces are also exhibited here in this online digital collection.
In response to the current climate crisis, the exhibit expresses climate change impacts, concerns and hopes for a future of reclaiming the earth’s climate balance. This exhibit, part of the All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD) project of the Belfast Free Library, was curated by Belfast artist Mj Viano Crowe and Brenda Harrington, program librarian at the Library.
Once They’re Gone, They’re Gone for Good: Indigenous Shell Heaps, Climate Change, and Confronting Heritage Loss through Citizen Science
Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Maine is home to roughly 2000 coastal Indigenous archaeological sites known as shell heaps or middens. These sites are rich heritage spaces that preserve a long record of past Indigenous lifeways and environments. In this presentation, Dr. Bonnie Newsom and Dr. Alice Kelley of the University of Maine will discuss these important places highlighting their cultural and research value. They will also discuss the University of Maine’s Midden Minders program—a citizen science initiative designed to monitor and record shell heaps threatened by climate change impacts.
During tonight's program Dr. Newsom referred to a talk, "The Archeology of Sears Island" with Paul Bock that the library co-sponsored with Friends of Sears Island in 2018.
The recording can be found on the FOSI Youtube Channel Here.
This program is co-sponsored by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and All of Belfast Climate Dialogues.
Dr. Bonnie Newsom is a member of the Penobscot Nation and an archaeologist interested in the pre-contact lifeways of Maine’s Native peoples. She is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Associate Faculty in the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. Dr. Newsom’s professional history includes serving as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Penobscot Indian Nation and as Assistant Director for UMaine’s Wabanaki Center. She and her husband Les are military veterans and they live in Eddington, Maine.
Dr. Alice Kelley is a geoarchaeologist and an Associate Research Professor in UM's Climate Change Institute. She has worked in a variety of international locations, and is one of the organizers of the Midden Minders project here in Maine. She lives in Orono Maine with her husband Joe, and enjoys birdwatching, outdoor sports, and family.
Living With Thin Ice: Past Perspectives on Climate Change in Belfast, Maine with Emma C. Moesswilde
Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
How did Mainers experience climate change in the past? What might this history tell us about the present and future in light of the current climate crisis? This talk recounts the history of climate change and its impacts on Maine’s people and landscapes. Using historical records and recent data from climate scientists, it highlights the long and varied history of adaptations to extreme weather in Maine through stories of past experiences of climate change. Using the example of Belfast and mid-coast Maine, the talk outlines how and why climate history can offer valuable perspectives on climate change today, and what lessons the past might hold for current climate change conversations.
Emma C. Moesswilde is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Georgetown University. Her dissertation project investigates the relationships between climate change and agricultural practice by examining rural experiences seasonal variability across the British Northern Atlantic from 1540-1816. She is committed to incorporating multidisciplinary methods and evidence to understand how rural communities responded and adapted to climate change over the course of the early modern period.
Born and raised in midcoast Maine, Emma has lived and worked in rural communities and environments for much of her life, including projects with Maine Farmland Trust and Maine Conservation Voters. She graduated with a B.A. cum laude in History and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College in 2018, and also holds an M.A. in History from Georgetown.
Her scholarly work has contributed to publications such as Nature and H-Environment and been featured in Active History and NiCHE. Emma also co-hosts the podcast Climate History. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Celebrating Our Adventures on Earth: Fireside Chat at Waterfall Arts with ABCD
Wednesday, April 20th at 7:00 PM at Waterfall Arts in Belfast
Waterfall Arts' Fireside Chat this month will be hosted by All Belfast Climate Change Dialogues to help us celebrate Earth Day—come share a tale of your adventures on Earth. At last month's Fireside Chats, we shared sea stories with Come Boating; this month, ABCD is asking you to share your “earth stories.” Come share your tale of adventures or misadventures on land: encounters with wildlife or wild weather, camping or gardening gone well or awry, etc. How have you been transformed by your adventures on Earth?
Imagining Our Climate Future: A Policy Perspective
Tuesday, April 12th at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Presented by the Belfast chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, this talk will be divided into two parts. First, Peter Garrett, PhD will encourage attendees to participate in the En-ROADS interactive Climate Solutions Simulator. En-ROADS allows users to explore the impact of a wide range of climate-related policies, such as electrifying transport, pricing carbon, and/or improving agricultural practices. You can see how each would impact energy prices, temperature and sea level rise. Don’t worry, it’s easy. You can choose which policy you think would make the most difference, and we’ll evaluate it together. Developed by Climate Interactive, the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, and Ventana Systems, En-ROADS uses the best available science, calibrated against a wide-range of existing climate models. It is intuitive and very user-friendly.
In the second part, Belfast CCL member Katrina Matheson will share an overview of CCL’s keystone policy initiative, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 2307), and some of the reasons that it is the most aggressive solution to a transition away from fossil fuels, as well as the most compassionate for average Americans.
Peter Garrett has a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in Earth Science. He has been interested in climate science since before coming to Maine 40 years ago. Soon after his arrival in 1979, he started writing a weekly column called “The Weatherlog” for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel, while building a passive solar home in Winslow. He is now with the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) in Maine, very much involved with both climate change science and the necessary political/economic solutions to climate change. He hopes that you can be, also.
Katrina Matheson received her B.A. in Science, Technology and Society (STS) from Stanford University and is currently completing an M.A. in STS from York University in Toronto, Canada. She will be pursuing her Ph.D. in the fall, planning to study public imaginaries of the future and how they are co-produced with technology policy. Originally from California but with a deep affection for Maine, Katrina has initiated the development of a community solar co-operative in Owl’s Head which, if implemented, would utilize public space to bring low-cost solar to households in Knox County.
Deep Woods: How Climate Change Impacts Forests & How Forests Slow Climate Change
Tuesday, March 22nd at 6:30 PM on Zoom
This is the third and final program in the Belfast Garden Club’s Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library that has focused on the effects of the climate crisis on our farms, gardens and forests.
Join Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli, President of Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, and Mark Berry, Forest Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in Maine, for a presentation and discussion about the interactions between Maine forests and climate change. The discussion will cover the current and potential impacts of changing climate on our forests, including shifts in species’ distributions and the disturbances that impact forests, factors that help keep forests resilient, potential management responses, and the role of forests in capturing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in forests, soils, and forest products.
Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli is the President and CEO with Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. Nick’s work and that of Schoodic is to understand the consequences of environmental change and engage people in the science and solutions.
Mark Berry, the Forest Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in Maine, leads TNC’s work to conserve Maine’s forests.
Growing Food and Ornamentals in a Changing Climate
Tuesday, February 22nd at 6:30 PM on Zoom
This program is the second in the Belfast Garden Club’s Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library:
Presenters Haley Jean and Sara Keleman, M.S. students at the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture. will give an overview of global climate change, with special attention to effects in Maine and the Northeast. They will discuss the local effects of global weather patterns and the challenges that they may pose to those who grow vegetables, fruit, and flowers in our region, and will suggest ways to mitigate some of the more confounding challenges. The talk will also showcase tools for learning about, understanding, and addressing climate change impacts.
The Maine Offshore Wind Initiative: How Maine is Charting Our Own Course
Thursday, February 17th at 6:30 PM on Zoom
In this presentation, Stephanie Watson, Maine Offshore Wind Program Manager in the Governor’s Energy Office, will provide an overview of the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative established by Governor Mills in 2019, with a focus on the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap. The Roadmap is an economic development plan currently underway with broad stakeholder engagement. The goal of the Roadmap is to identify the best course for Maine to maximize benefits of the rapidly growing offshore wind sector to meet clean energy and economic goals, while sustaining existing ocean users and the environment.
This program is co-sponsored by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and the All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD) project of the Belfast Free Library.
Browntail Moth and What You Need to Know
Tuesday, February 1st at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Tuesday February 1st at 6:30 pm the Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition will host this virtual presentation with entomologist Tom Schmeelk.
Browntail moth is a non-native species that poses human health risks as well as concerns for forest health. This species is currently experiencing a population boom in Maine. This presentation will cover lifecycle, history, current situation and what to look for as well as management and mitigation strategies. Also covered will be emerald ash borer, one of the more recent threats to Maine’s forest.
Tom Schmeelk is an Entomologist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the program lead on the brown tail moth.
Maine’s Climate Future: The Role of Carbon Management in Farms and Forests with Dr. Ivan Fernandez
Tuesday, January 25 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
This winter the Belfast Garden Club Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library, will focus on the effects of the Climate Crisis on our forests, farms, gardens and food supply.
This presentation will address three main topics. First Ivan Fernandez will summarize key findings from climate assessments focused on Maine, primarily the Maine’s Climate Future reports and the assessment report of the Maine Climate Council’s Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. Then he will discuss how farms and forests can contribute to what is often called ‘Natural Climate Solutions’. He will talk about soils and soil health, primarily considering soils on farms, and how enhancing soil organic carbon can promote both the resilience of the soil in light of climate risks as well as contribute to reducing atmospheric carbon concentrations. The presentation will also summarize forest management recommendations from the recent Governor’s Task Force on a Forest Carbon Program in Maine.
Dr. Fernandez is a Professor in the School of Forest Resources, Climate Change Institute, and School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine. He has served on various U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board committees in Washington DC since 2000. He represents the University of Maine in the USDA Northeast Climate Hub and has been involved in leading the Maine’s Climate Future assessments in 2009, 2015, and 2020.
Call for Art: "The Art of Re-Climation"
April / May 2022 Exhibit
As part of the ABCD project, the Belfast Free Library is calling for submissions of art that responds to the current climate crisis for an exhibit in the Kramer Gallery titled “The Art of Re-Climation.”
We are looking for submissions that express climate change impacts, concerns or hopes for a future of reclaiming the earth’s climate balance.
The exhibit will be curated by Belfast artist Mj Viano Crowe and Brenda Harrington, program librarian at the Belfast Free Library. Submissions are due January 21, 2022. The exhibit will take place April through May 2022. We will also include pieces in an online digital collection dedicated to the exhibit.
Please submit digital pictures of your art to Brenda Harrington at [email protected] by January 21, 2022. Please include title, date and medium of the work. We will announce the selections by February 8, 2022.
Growing Resilience: Local Farmers Respond to Climate Change
Thursday January 20th, 6:30PM
As outlined in Maine’s Climate Future report (UMaine Climate Change Institute 2009 and 2020), extreme weather events due to climate change pose particular challenges for Maine’s farms. Warmer temperatures harm vegetables, reduce fruit production and stress livestock. More intense rain events cause run-off and wash-outs and don’t replenish the water table. The longer and drier summers Maine is experiencing can require crops to need irrigation. These are but some of the issues our local food producers face.
Our panel of farmers will discuss how the effects of climate change - including droughts, floods, pests and extreme weather events - have challenged and changed their farming practices, and answer your questions.
Finding Hope in the Face of Climate Change
Tuesday, November 30th at 6:30 PM on Zoom
Ordinary people have more power to change the world than they think they do. But it is hard to stay positive and motivated in the face of devastating weather and constant bad news about politics and the environment. Join us as we welcome author Susan B. Inches for a presentation on how to find your power and take action for the environment—as an advocate or within current daily activities. By working together, we can create a healthy future where all life is respected, revered and nurtured. This talk will show you how.
About the Speaker: Susan B. Inches is author of the newly released book, Advocating for the Environment: How to Gather Your Power and Take Action. Sue has worked in public policy for over 25 years. As Deputy Director of the State Planning Office, she conducted research, designed and led public engagement processes, and lobbied on behalf of the Governor. Prior to this Sue worked with the fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing industries as a Director at the Department of Marine Resources and chaired the Board of Coastal Enterprises, a Community Finance Development Corporation providing funding to low income areas in Maine and nationally. Sue now works as an author, consultant, teacher and advocate with a focus on the environment and climate change. She developed and teaches a course called Advocating for the Environment at several colleges, and offers public workshops on the same topic. Sue holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and MBA from the University of New Hampshire.
This presentation is part of the ongoing series of programs for the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues project.
An Introduction to: “The Warming Sea” a symphony about Climate Change by Lucas Richman
Thursday November 4th at 6:30 PM on Zoom
In January of 2019, Kate Dickerson, Founder & Director of the Maine Science Festival, commissioned Grammy award winning composer, Lucas Richman, to write a symphonic piece about climate change in the Gulf of Maine. The Maine Science Festival team arranged a series of discussions between Richman and climate experts up and down the coast of Maine. These conversations, as well as perspectives provided by middle school students throughout Maine, provided the foundation for “The Warming Sea.”
Join us for a discussion about the creation of The Warming Sea, a symphonic work to be debuted by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in March of 2022. Lucas Richman has served as the Music Director of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra since 2010.
This presentation is part of the ongoing series of programs for the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues project.
Maine Won’t Wait: How Maine is Taking Action on Climate Change with Dr. Cassaundra Rose
Thursday October 21st at 6:30 pm on Zoom :
Dr. Cassaundra Rose is a senior science analyst and the Maine Climate Council coordinator in the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future. Dr. Rose will talk about how climate change is expected to affect Maine, the state climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, and how Governor Mills and the Legislature have advanced significant, bipartisan legislation and funding for climate action this year.
This program is also part of the ongoing series of programs for the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues.
Hosted by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library.
Belfast High Water Mark Project & New Tide Gauge Presentation
Friday October 8th at 3:00 PM
Location: Belfast breakwater, adjacent to the City boat ramp and the Harbormaster’s office
The Belfast Climate Crisis Committee is pleased to announce that on Friday, 10/8/21at 3:00 p.m., there will be a gathering to introduce the High Water Mark project, a joint effort of the City of Belfast, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Maine Geologic Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Representatives of these supporting organizations will discuss the origins and goals of the project; Belfast is one of several places on the Maine coast where historic high water events are being documented.
During this gathering, the Committee will also highlight other aspects of the City’s multiple projects, designed to provide accurate, long term data on the water and weather conditions on Belfast Bay.
US Harbors will describe the innovative GPS-based water level sensor system installed by Divirod on 9/29/21 at the end of the breakwater, and the Climate Crisis Committee, and staff and students from Belfast Area High School, will describe their tide gauges and the weather station, installed on the City pier with support from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
Storm Surge in the Penobscot Bay and River: Observations and Lessons Learned
Thursday September 16th at 6:30 pm on Zoom
The Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition are once again co-sponsoring the upcoming fall and winter series of programs on Zoom.
Storm surges can be a threat to life and property in coastal regions during tropical and mid-latitude storm events. The State of Maine is most prone to storm surges resulting from mid-latitude winter storms, typically called “nor’easters”. When nor’easters track far enough inland, there is often a strong wind directed from the south over coastal Maine which enhances surge in Maine’s many estuaries.
We present observations of surge during two of these “windstorms” in one of the states largest estuaries: the Penobscot Bay and River system. We discuss the unique citizen scientist monitored water level network, which was created to capture these observations, as well as some interesting findings from each storm.
A presentation with Preston Spicer, PhD Candidate, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Maine
Hosted by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library.
Hot Enough For You? A community discussion on extreme heat
Thursday August 26th at 6:00 pm on Zoom
Join us for a Climate Conversation about extreme heat:
HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?
It’s going to get hotter.
We are hosting a public discussion on Thursday 8/26 to hear how you have gotten through the extreme heat this summer, and to hear your concerns and suggestions for the future.
- Do you or someone in your family suffer medically from the heat?
- Are you concerned about a neighbor or friend?
- Do you have air conditioning? Can you get to a cool place on very hot days?
- Should the Belfast community take any steps to prepare for future periods of extreme heat?
Join by Zoom at 6:00 pm on Thursday, August 26, 2021 to share your ideas and experiences.
Zoom link (there is no need to pre-register for this event):
Can't attend the discussion, but want to share your thoughts or concerns? Email us at [email protected].
Hosted by the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee and All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library.
Farmer's Market conversations: How is climate change impacting you?
Friday August 27th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Belfast Farmer's Market (at Waterfall Arts)
The ABCD project will have a table at the Belfast Farmer's Market on Friday, August 27th. Come say hello, learn more about the project, and share how climate change is impacting you, your family and the Belfast area community. Bring your photos, videos, and stories to add to the ABCD website!
Concerned about extreme heat days? Worried about sea level rise? Afraid of ticks and brown tail moths? Confused about community solar? Curious about heat pumps? Wondering about impacts for farmers, fishermen, foresters, or others?
We invite you to share your concerns, observations, and hopes about the impacts of climate change in our region and our response to it.
Location: Belfast Farmer's Market, Waterfall Arts, 256 High Street, Belfast
Follow-up Conversation for "Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Citizen Science"
Thursday June 24 at 6:30 pm on Zoom
Join us for a Climate Conversation and to learn more about the ABCD project:
Register for the 6:30pm zoom link here.
“Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Citizen Science”
Tuesday, June 21st at 6:30 pm on Zoom
The first ABCD program, “Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Citizen Science” was presented in collaboration with the Climate Crisis Committee on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. View the presentation here on YouTube.
Gayle Bowness, Coastal Resilience Program Manager at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute joined us to explain why sea level rise in the Gulf of Maine is causing more cities and towns along the coast to experience frequent flooding.
She also shared exciting updates to the Coastal Flooding Citizen Science Project that was launched in Belfast in 2020.