The League of Women Voters of the Plymouth Area’s Sustainability Committee has been actively working on local climate and environmental issues for many years. Our continued agenda is to work so that local action is consistent with the best climate science so as to ensure a stable climate system for future generations.
Members of the LWV of the Plymouth Area are active in many of our local boards, committees, and climate advocacy organizations, including the Climate-Ready Health Plymouth Steering Committee; the Saltwater Intrustion Task Force; the Citizen’s Climate Lobby; Sustainable Plymouth; Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barren Alliance (SEMPBA); the Water Conservation Committee, and the Town of Plymouth’s Climate Resiliency and Sustainability Planner, Mark Riel.
Click here for a full list of organizations in the Plymouth area who are our partners in tasking actions to promote sustainability.
Read about our 2022 project on the Saltwater Intrusion Task Force.
A Community Read on Climate Change
We once took water for granted.
Plymouth is surrounded by an ocean of saltwater that presses against the land and a Subterranean interface with our precious freshwater. Sea level rise, increased demand, and climate change may very well allow saltwater to intrude into our rivers, ponds, as well as into the very water we drink.
Plymouth has received a new “Action Grant” funded through the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. The Town of Plymouth, the Living Observatory, and the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA) are part of a new community task force that is currently researching a phenomenon known as the saltwater/freshwater interface.
This task force, including more than a dozen of the region’s environmental organizations, community groups, town committees, and – we hope – a variety of community-focused businesses recognizes the importance of engaging our community to prepare for the challenges ahead.
Invitation to Book Clubs:
Add your voice to the conversation by choosing one of the books on our curated list for your book club in 2022. The task force, with the Plymouth Public Library, has created a list that includes genres to satisfy every reader. If your club chooses to read one of these books, we would love to know about your experience. Click here for a printable list of potential discussion questions or contact us at the email address below if you would like a task force member to help facilitate your discussion.
Through the fall and winter we are bringing everyone together for one or more community conversations with authors and experts in the field of saltwater intrusion. The SWI Grant will include additional presentations in 2022 and 2023 on the issues effecting Plymouth and opportunities for citizens to participate in activities, including walks on nature-based solutions led by local Indigenous leaders.
To contact us: email Judy Savage.
For more information about the SWI Task Force, see below.
The Salt Water Intrusion (SWI) Taskforce is a network of individuals and organizations — including members of LWV of the Plymouth Area — advocating for the protection of the Plymouth-Carver aquifer. The task force solicited – and was awarded – a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Subterranean Resiliency Project aims to assess the Plymouth-Carver acquifer and the extent to which it is vulnerable to salt water intrusion – the process by which the balance between fresh water and salt water in coastal areas is upset and our subterranean water supplies take on more saltwater — in order to develop mitigation plans.
This project has brought together over a dozen community groups that will work together over the next two years on research, outreach and education. The scientific assessment of water (through testing of ponds and wells) will produce data allowing visualization of the current state of the acquifer and highlight areas that need action.
The League plays an educational goal through webinars, news articles, and outreach to Plymouth villages and communities.
Read more about the SWI Task Force.
Watch this video from our educational event on February 9, 2021.
Climate, Energy & Environment Task Force (Town of Plymouth)
The League was instrumental in the formation of the Select Board’s Climate, Energy & Environment Task Force, led by Select Board member Patrick Flaherty. As part of that task force’s work, League members contributed priority recommendations for immediate steps:
- Declaration of a Climate Emergency in Plymouth
- Pursuing a goal of 30% of the land area in Town in conservation
- Creating a full-time position in the Town of Plymouth for a Climate Resiliency Coordinator/Planner
- Supporting a regional coastal resilience project grant to fund research, outreach and education efforts
These priorities were approved by the Town of Plymouth Select Board on July 20, 2021.
Going forward, the Sustainability Committee will take an active role in citizen outreach and education and is currently planning a number of events, webinars, and book discussions to engage Plymouth residents.