Community Climate Conversation: Building Resilience for Big Storms and Flooding

Title

Community Climate Conversation: Building Resilience for Big Storms and Flooding

Description

Watch the recording of this event

View stormwater presentation by Fred Bowers, CCC chair

Belfast residents are excited, creative, and eager to work together on actions that will help build our climate resilience!

An engaged audience of 40 citizens (in person and on Zoom) attended the second Community Climate Conversation on the topic of “Building Resilience for Big Storms and Flooding.”

The event, co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues (ABCD) project and the City of Belfast’s Climate Crisis Committee (CCC) was held in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library on October 18, 2022. This conversation had two goals: offer an opportunity for residents to discuss and to learn about how to handle predicted impacts of climate change, and generate ideas for shaping the Climate Action Plan (CAP) that members of the CCC are drafting. The purpose of a CAP is to document citizens’ values and priorities to guide decisions and lay out a timeline of actions to increase community resilience.

The program began with two presentations to educate the audience about the topic. First, CCC member Gerald Brand described the changes to precipitation that we have experienced and (using scientific projections) what we may expect in the future. The CCC chair Fred Bowers showed what happens when rain hits the ground in a presentation on stormwater, soils and runoff.

In the discussion it was clear that the attendees were concerned about who was responsible, who makes the decisions about planning for stormwater runoff and who will pay to fix the existing problems. The group brainstormed ideas for three categories of action:
  1. things people can do themselves on their own properties;
  2. things people can work on together; and
  3. things that will need policy change and/or significant fundraising to accomplish.
Our attendees offered a number of creative ideas for things that people can do now, from placing rain barrels or (if budget allows) replacing impervious surfaces like paved driveways with permeable ones. Where people got palpably excited, however, was in talking about actions we can take together. The idea that generated the most excitement was creating a rain garden in a public location and using it for education.

In the category of things requiring municipal leadership and funding, the CCC updated the audience that on September 20, 2022, the Belfast City Council approved a stormwater drainage system review and analysis within the bypass, partially funded using federal money. Olver Associates were contracted and have begun this study, which will inform City planning for the stormwater system.

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Additional Community Climate Conversations are planned. Learn more about these upcoming events.

Watch the recording of this event

Stormwater presentation by Fred Bowers, CCC chair

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Creator

Belfast Climate Crisis Committee, ABCD Team

Date

October 18, 2022

Event Type

Community Climate Conversations

Citation

Belfast Climate Crisis Committee, ABCD Team, “Community Climate Conversation: Building Resilience for Big Storms and Flooding,” All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues, accessed February 6, 2023, https://abcdbelfast.omeka.net/items/show/125.

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