To the Editor:
US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse recently spoke to a group of business leaders and referenced a RI Coastal Resources Management Council report that indicated Warwick is especially …
To the Editor:
US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse recently spoke to a group of business leaders and referenced a RI Coastal Resources Management Council report that indicated Warwick is especially vulnerable to raising waters because our city is relatively flat. With 39 miles of coastline in Warwick, sea level rise will have a dramatic impact on the residents of our city.
The impact of climate change is already visible in our community. In the Nausauket neighborhood, for example, longtime residents have witnessed storms dramatically change their properties, in many cases leaving residents with portions of their property now permanently underwater.
Warwick needs to be prepared to address the climate related challenges our neighborhoods face. We already have an outstanding Planning Department with a number of employees who have worked on responding to climate related issues for years, developing plans for both the city and the state. We need to promote their work and encourage other departments to find ways to support their efforts.
Currently Warwick is updating the local hazard mitigation plan, and we are looking for public participation. An anonymous survey found on the city’s website will help identify ways to make the community safer and better prepared during and after natural disasters.
As Council President I am asking the city to make sea level rise, coastal hazards, and other resilience measures a priority for all city departments. As we evaluate and prioritize projects, the impact of climate change must be considered. We can draw from numerous environmental protection projects and considerations brought forth across the state to help improve our response in Warwick. Such action, however, should not be limited by city lines. Resilience measures often present opportunities to receive shared, cost-effective services across wider areas. Warwick and East Greenwich can collaborate to apply for federal funding to combat and protect against climate change.
Our city is so special in part because of the beautiful coastline we are fortunate to enjoy. The council and the city will always have to weigh the financial costs of projects that come before us. Now more than ever we must also consider the impact of climate change on our community and the urgency with which it must be addressed.
City Council President