Convening for Action in Vermont: 'Climate Change Resilient, Floodwater Smart’ Stewardship

Note to Reader:

Vermont Summit_logoIn March 2015, US Senator Patrick Leahy sponsored the 2nd biennial Leahy Environmental Summit in Burlington, Vermont. Senator Leahy is the longest serving member (40 years) and dean of the United States Senate. His vision for this ‘convening for action’ event is that it will inspire social and structural resiliency for flooding and stormwater issues related to climate change.

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Vision and Desired Outcome: Climate Change Resilient, Floodwater Smart

“The goal of the 2015 Leahy Environmental Summit is to inspire multi­-organizational, regional teams to produce or further develop specific projects, programs, and plans that engage an enthusiastic community to address social and structural resiliency for flooding and stormwater issues related to climate change. Vermont Summit_Phelan Fretz_closing remarks_120pGiven the energy in the room, it is clear that we achieved that goal,” stated Phelan Fretz, ‎Executive Director, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.

To download a copy of the Agenda for this 2-day event, click on Climate Change Resilient, Floodwater Smart

Regional Team Approach

Phelan Fretz explained that 15 regional teams, consisting of over 160 great thinkers and doers from across sectors gathered on the shores of Lake Champlain to work together in true Vermont environmental tradition to create innovative solutions aimed at:

  • Building community engagement that creates social resiliency to natural disaster
  • Understanding the links between climate change, a healthy water system, and managing future stormwater events
  • Inspiring new behaviors ­ both individually and collectively ­ that will result in a stormwater smart citizenry across Vermont and the Lake Champlain watershed
  • Creating new cross ­sector collaborations that will generate ongoing innovation and planning, resulting in a greater structural resilience to flooding issues.
  • Leveraging the strengths of our experiences, future planning, and passion into a model for other communities

To Learn More:

To download information about the ‘regional teams’, click on Project Names and Descriptions.

To access the Summit Blog, click on Experts Talk Resiliency at Leahy Summit

To access photos of the Summit proceedings, visit the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center’s Flickr page.

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