Forum focuses on climate change preparedness

Amber Nicholson
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RUSTICO - Wheatley River and Hunter-Clyde Watershed Groups are inviting Islanders to attend a public form addressing the coastal impacts of climate change.

"Because of the storms last December, the extremes in weather conditions we're going to experience are still pretty fresh in people's memories," said Wheatley River watershed co-ordinator Tracy Gallant. "We really do have to make changes and we have to prepare to make changes. This forum will help people prepare and not be caught off guard."

Gallant said the extreme weather events affecting infrastructure and causing shoreline erosion and tidal surges are cause for concern.

The workshop will feature opinions from Dr. Irene Novaczek of the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, Rebecca McQuaid of Sierra Club P.E.I. and P.E.I. Climate Change Officer Erin Taylor.

The trio will provide an overview of the current conditions on P.E.I., predictions for the future and suggestions for appropriate adaptations, followed by a question and answer session.

Taylor will discuss weather trends that show increased storm intensity, rising sea levels and changing temperatures. Novaczek will suggest community preparedness options and McQuaid will review how Islanders have contributed to climate change to arrive at this point. 

"(Climate change) is happening right now and there's nothing we can do to stop it so we need to make adjustments. Now's the time to think about it and plan for it," said Gallant.

The climate change forum will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15 at the North Rustico Lions Club. Refreshments will be served and there will be a short AGM business meeting for the Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group following the discussion.

For more information on the Wheatley River Improvement Group visit www.wheatleyriver.ca.

anicholson@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island, Sierra Club North Rustico Lions Club Wheatley River Improvement Group

Geographic location: P.E.I., Wheatley River

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