One Air, Water, and Land a New Environmental Lecture Series Hosted by Cos Cob Library

This new spring series put together by the Conservation Commission will explore the interconnections of healthy soils, water quantity, transportation, climate change and us, as an important part of the equation,” stated Aleksandra Moch, Environmental Analyst.

Nature is our life-support. Healthy natural systems provide so many essentials like water, clean air, fertile soils and a stable climate. They also provide us food, medicines and materials and support our economy. Unfortunately, human activities are placing these natural systems under
increasing stress, exposing our communities and economies to harsh consequences of climate change.

“Taking action to create a world which is both nature positive and carbon neutral may seem like a big ask but it is essential to securing long-term human health and prosperity, and to helping prevent future global pandemics,” said Pat Sesto, Greenwich Director of Environmental Affairs.

Looking ahead, it is crucial that to rebalance a relationship with nature to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet. People have to step up and acknowledge their close connections to nature and climate, and take action to revert the dire consequences of their deeds.

These four virtual Wednesday webinars starting at 6:30 pm will bring this closer to home. This series will not only reveal the human impacts in our own backyards, but it will also provide local solutions to alleviate them.

This program is free of charge and open to the public. To register go to Cos Cob Library:

March 10. The Soil Solution to Clean Water, Air and Healthy Land
Moderator: Myra Klockenbrink
Panelists: Jay Feldman, Beyond Pesticides, Jackie Algon, Pollinator Pathway and Michael Strangel, Kiss the Ground

Soil plays an important role in water quality, climate change and human health. Unfortunately, decades of deforestation, monoculture, and poor farming practices had stripped the land of much of its goodness. It’s estimated that 75 billion tons of fertile soil are lost to land degradation every year, leaving Earth in a parlous state. The Food and Agriculture Organization warns, if we continued on the same path, more than 90% of all the Earth’s soils could be degraded by 2050.

While these prognoses are dire, it is not too late to change agriculture from being one of the major contributors to climate change to becoming one of the major solutions. This panel discussion will unveil the do’s and don’ts of soil care in participants’ backyards while cultivating the appreciation for soil biodiversity, fertility and organic treatment.

March 17. Is Greenwich Facing a Water Shortage?
Moderator: Elizabeth Dempsey
Panelists: John Mullaney, USGS; Patricia Sesto, Director of Environmental Affair, Town of Greenwich and Jeff Ulrich, Vice President of Supply Operations and Sustainability, Aquarion Water Company.

There is an increasing awareness that freshwater resources in Greenwich are limited and need to be protected both in terms of quantity and quality. Severe droughts and water overdraw affect not only the water users, but also the decision-makers. “Water is everybody’s business.”

The panelists will explain the important connections between the surface water and ground water and how action of one property owner may have lasting consequence on the entire water system.

March 24. How to Ease Traffic Congestions in Greenwich
Moderator: Ernst Schirmer
Panelists: Kristin Floberg, Planner, Western Connecticut Council of Governments, (WestCOG); Jason Spigel, Freebee and TBD

Traffic congestion from vehicles results in a significant time burden across the globe. If time is money, time spent in traffic comes at a high cost. As of September 2020, an average American worker loses approximately $1,591 per year to traffic.

Wages and productivity aren’t the only things traffic affects. Traffic congestion racks up many costs that are more difficult to calculate. These include the environmental impact of carbon emissions from idling tailpipes, the staggering cost of repairing and replacing roads and bridge
infrastructure, and the health impacts of gridlock-induced stress.

With the advent of smart mobility, return of micro mobility and tougher regulations on car emissions, the question of whether we have a new window of opportunity to tame congestion is now high on the list of possibilities. This panel discussion will look at a number of valuable
options for easing congestion in Greenwich while highlighting their benefits and challenges.

March 31. Changing Earth, Changing Climate
Moderator: Allison Walsh
Speaker: Laura Bozzi, PhD, Director of Programs at the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health

Connecticut’s climate is changing. The state has warmed more than three degrees F since the late 1800’s. Throughout the northeastern United States spring is arriving earlier; episodes of heavy rainfall events are increasing; and summers are becoming hotter and drier.

Sea level is rising, and storms are expected to become more intense, with risks to human health, property and infrastructure. In the coming decades, the changing climate is likely to further increase flooding, harm ecosystems, disrupt farming, and increase risks to human health. In her presentation, Dr. Bozzi will discuss findings from the Climate Change and Health in Connecticut: 2020 Report, in which she and colleagues tracked 19 indicators of climate change and health in Connecticut across four domains: temperature, extreme events, infectious diseases, and air quality.