Climate change – a planning issue for Yarmouth

According to the Globe and Mail there was a panel of municipal experts discussing climate change at the annual meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Halifax on June 3rd. This takes place as municipal governments across Canada are preparing for the long-term impacts of climate change on their areas. Responses to climate change range from modification of public policy to physical on-the-ground changes to our town’s environment.

For the Town of Yarmouth, these climate change modifications may dovetail nicely with its revitalization plans. In fact, they need to go hand-in-hand. For example:

1) streets and parking lots may be paved with permeable materials so that increased runoff from storms is sent to the ground water supply and not the the storm drain system,

2) the tree canopy of the town can be increased to reduce the ‘heat island’ affect of unshaded areas and to provide more comfort to residents in periods of hotter weather,

3) additional green space, such as a developed Broad Brook Greenway, can provide quiet and comfortable summer recreation areas.

These are just a start and do not even begin to address issues of sea level rise on our coast and downtown area.  The first of public discussions of our town and municipal responses to climate change take place on June 14 (town) and 15 (municipality). We have a chance to know what is going on locally and to help guide the process by attending these sessions.

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