Updated: Jun 16
Carl Kaufmann, who spoke eloquently at the gathering about how a similar group on Block Island effectively used the law to: 1) conserve land and water quality and 2) achieve a culture of environmentally smart development and ecological restoration, took the time to write a guide for us on next steps. We met with the Nature Conservancy community outreach and “rivers, wetlands and tidal marshes” leaders to guide us further.
Here is what we plan to do first, based on a merging of Nature Conservancy and Carl Kaufmann advice. Many thanks to both!
Map out what we know and what we need to know; map out who we know and who we need to know. Who would be our logical allies - which organizations have a stake in the wellbeing of the Mystic River Watershed? What kind of data do we have access to already, and how can our allies help each other to learn more to co-create a collaborative, adaptable plan of action to address climate change impacts? Who has the authority to say yes and who has the authority to say no about the watershed and how can civic participation sway the decisions?
As people express interests and concerns, join forces in overlapping working groups (i.e., Alliance members join working groups of other organizations, and people representing other organizations join Alliance working groups). Here are some of the working groups that are emerging: Eco-aware Development and Resilient Business; Water Quality and Data Gathering; Observing Meetings and Updating Municipal Regulations and Protocols to Meet the Demands of Climate Change and Species Loss; Identification of Threatened and Potentially Threatened Areas and Creating a Watershed Plan; Opportunities to Learn and Share Collaboratively (Wetland Ecology, Marine Ecology, and the Law); Habitat Improvement, and a Youth Council.