Great Marsh Symposium

Great Marsh Resiliency: Putting the Plan into Action! – November 9 in Essex, MA

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Great Marsh Coalition 2017

5th Annual Sea Level Rise Symposium


Monkman MANSS D21138

The Essex Room, Woodman’s of Essex, MA

November 9, 2017


Download the Agenda here

Great Marsh Resiliency: Putting the Plan into Action!


8:30                 Registration and coffee

9:00-9:05         Introduction

                        Ed Becker, President, Essex County Greenbelt Association

9:05-9:10         Welcome

Lisa O’Donnell, Selectboard Chair, Town of Essex

9:10-9:40         Importance of Climate Adaptation for the Great Marsh Region

                        Senator Kathleen O’Connor-Ives (invited)

                        Senator Bruce Tarr


9:40-10:25       Keynote: Climate Adaptation Planning in Massachusetts

Katie Theoharides, Assistant Secretary of Climate Change for the Commonwealth of MA

10:25-11:05      Great Marsh Climate Adaptation Plan

Christopher Hilke, Climate Adaptation Director, National Wildlife Federation will present an overall summary of the 2+ year Great Marsh community planning project in the context of the overall Hurricane Sandy Grant Project and NWF’s National Climate Smart model and share anecdotes on similar efforts around the country.


11:05-11:40      Regional Solutions: How a Resilient Great Marsh is our Number One Defense

                        Wayne Castonguay, Executive Director Ipswich River Watershed Association will present regional strategies that have been identified to increase the resiliency of the Great Marsh with a focus on nature-based and green infrastructure solutions.         

11:45-12:30      LUNCH: Woodman’s New England Clam Chowder (gluten-free), Portuguese Green Crab Brodo Seafood Stew, and an Assortment of Sandwiches, including vegetarian options

12:30-12:45     The Great Marsh Story - presentation, images, and poetry by students from the Climate Café program

12:45-1:05       Recommendations for Advancing the Implementation of Nature-Based Adaptation Strategies in the Great Marsh: Melissa Gaydos Merriam, National Wildlife Federation

Two Case Studies: How our Neighbors are Moving Forward - Introduction by Melissa Merriam

1:05-1:30         NH Coastal Adaptation Working Group: Assisting NH’s Coastal Communities

Julie LaBranche, Senior Planner, Rockingham Planning Commission

1:30-1:55         Resilient Taunton Watershed Network: Shaping the Future of Your Community

Daniel Brown, Climate Director, Mass Audubon

1:55-3:00         Facilitated Panel Discussion: How to Advance Climate Adaptation at the Local Level

                        Moderator:     Kathryn Glenn, CZM Regional Coordinator


Alicia Geilen, Conservation Agent, Town of Ipswich

Anne Herbst, Senior Regional Environmental Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission; former Hull, MA, Conservation Administrator

Donna Holaday, Mayor, City of Newburyport

Peter Phippen, MVPC, 8 Towns & Great Marsh, & MassBays Program

Martha Taylor, Planner, Town of Newbury

Brendhan Zubricki, Town Administrator, Town of Essex


3:00-3:15         Door Prizes & Next Steps: Ed Becker, Essex County Greenbelt Association        


Generously supported through contributions by Essex County Greenbelt, Essex National Heritage Area, Ipswich River Watershed Association, League of Women Voters Cape Ann, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, National Wildlife Federation, and The Trustees



2017 Sponsors