Global Day of Climate Change - Blackwater event on May 5

Jane Hawkey ·
30 April 2012
Environmental Literacy | Science Communication |, as part of their movement to solve the climate crisis, has declared May 5 to be Climate Impacts Day. They have a network of people in 188 countries who are concerned about the effects of climate change and the lack of action, globally and locally. May 5 is the day they are rallying this network to create a global day of action by holding "Connect the Dots" events all over the world.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by the folks at Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) to organize a "Connect the Dots" event in our backyard at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a place many of us know to be particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise.

Blackwater loss
The loss of wetlands to open water is dramatic.

While I had to put this challenge on hold until I had free time outside of work, I managed to post an announcement and call for volunteers on the Horn Point Laboratory news list within a few days. Meg Maddox responded and hopes to encourage other HPLers to participate. Also, she volunteers periodically at Blackwater and so has contacts there for support.

The event has evolved from just the two of us to three (I drafted my husband, John, last night). However, today, I registered our event, Sea-level rise is drowning Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, on the website for the world to see, so we are hoping to get some more folks to join us.

I have come up with a plan that we and CCAN think will be effective. Here's a quick rendition of the photo op staging.

This is a draft staging of the Connect the Dots event.
This is a draft staging of the Connect the Dots event.

Yes! You read that right! One acre per day on average is lost at Blackwater! That statistic comes from a 2008 presentation by Dixie Birch entitled "Global Climate Change and Wetland Loss at Blackwater NWR" who was the Refuge wetlands biologist at the time. As a result, it's no surprise that the Refuge folks are doing all they can to restore and protect its existing wetlands using clean dredged material, and even expanding its boundary by purchasing land. For more info, check out the Management tab on the Refuge website.

I hope you will consider joining us for the event. As you can see by the image above, the more bodies, the greater the impact for the photo. And if we happen upon some visitors, the more opportunities to educate the public about the effects of climate change.

For more info on the present and future impacts of climate change in Maryland, check out these IAN publications.

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