Six coastal towns in York County announced Monday that they intend to hire an expert to develop a climate action plan.

The new position of sustainability coordinator for the Regional Sustainability and Coastal Resiliency Program will be funded by the towns of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Ogunquit, Wells and York, according to a statement issued by Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission.

“We want to understand our carbon footprint, tackle energy projects, and develop responses to issues like water quality, recycling and infrastructure challenges,” Kennebunkport Town Manager Laurie Smith said. “By pooling our resources, we can hire a new person, who can oversee data collection so we can benchmark our efforts, understand energy consumption, work together to address sea level and other concerns for coastal towns.”

Smith said the person, who will be funded for two years, will help the towns set climate change priorities for the next five to 10 years.

Paul Schumacher, executive director of Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission, said the new position is in line with what Maine Gov. Janet Mills has set as goals for fighting climate change.

Mills told world leaders gathered at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September that she intends to make Maine carbon neutral by 2045. Her initiative is an effort to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’ve got to unite to preserve our precious common ground, for our common planet, in uncommon ways for this imperative common purpose,” Mills told world leaders.

“This effort is in line with what Gov. Janet Mills discussed in her address to the United Nations,” Schumacher said in statement. “She has made tackling climate change a key priority of her administration, saying Maine won’t wait. Will you? These six local towns are not going to wait.”

The deadline to apply for the sustainability coordinator position is Dec. 13.

 

 

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