While this week’s column is not about the official start to spring, I have to mention it nonetheless, as it means an emerging out of winter, which often draws more people to the coast as the weather warms. Typically, the March date seems completely irrelevant as there is snow on the ground, ice coating previously melted and refrozen ground, and no signs of green things emerging. This year, however, it actually has felt like spring, and I have seen crocuses not just poking up through the snow but in full bloom in fully exposed dirt. All of this brings the question of climate change and adaptation to the forefront.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Brunswick’s efforts to create a plan to respond to climate change. Brunswick is taking some proactive steps to plan for anticipated changes as well as actions that can be taken to reduce impacts going forward. Along with several other Maine towns, Brunswick is in the process of creating a Climate Action Plan. The town convened a Climate Action Task Force composed of citizens and town staff to pull together a draft plan and then to solicit public input on that plan.

Last time I wrote about Brunswick’s CAP, it was just ahead of the second public workshop to gather feedback. This was held on March 7 at the Coffin School. Thanks to a great effort on the town’s part to get the word out about the event as well as to local businesses for providing raffle items to entice people to attend, there were more than 150 people who came on a Thursday evening to share their thoughts on the priorities and actions proposed. Small groups convened around specific topics and then shared what they thought about the drafted ideas and ideas that might not have already been included.

While more than 150 people attended, that’s still only a small fraction of the number of residents of Brunswick. To that end, the town is following up on this workshop by offering a survey that can be completed online. The materials from the workshop are available there as well as a recording of the presentations given that evening.

Scan the QR code to visit the Brunswick Climate Action Plan webpage.

All of these resources are housed on the Brunswick Climate Action webpage at brunswickcap-gpcog.hub.arcgis.com. The materials from the workshop are under the Community Workshop tab. On this page are mini-posters for each of seven priority areas (municipal operations, buildings and housing, transportation, energy and renewables, natural resources, land use and food systems, resilience and public health, and waste management). The posters list overarching strategies with more specific actions forthcoming. You can click on each poster to see it in full size and to provide feedback on that specific area. There are just five questions to answer for each topic area. One of the reasons for soliciting more feedback at this point is to help prioritize the areas of focus for the plan going forward.

This is the last opportunity for public feedback and the deadline to participate is April 15. If you have any questions or need further information, you can contact Ashley Charleson, Brunswick’s environmental planner, at 725-6660 ext. 4025 or acharleson@brunswickme.org.

So, as you look at the crocuses blooming in these first official days of spring, perhaps take a few moments to see what the town is doing to address climate change and speak up about what you feel is most important.

Susan Olcott is the director of operations at Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.