Filmmaker Appearing at Watertown Group’s Meeting to Speak About Climate Feedback Loops

The following information was provided by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment:

Climate Feedback Loops — What they are and what we can do about them

In the award winning film Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops, climate scientists explain how warming caused by human activity is setting in motion Earth’s own natural warming mechanisms, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and further warming the planet in dangerous, amplifying cycles. These feedback loops are not generally understood by the public – or many policymakers. After watching a short film section on melting permafrost, we’ll speak with the film’s creator, Bonnie Waltch, Brian Hebeisan (a WE3C member) and Representative Steve Owens, focusing on the urgent question: what can we do at the local, state, and national level to ensure we stop these cycles and let natural systems do their job of removing carbon, preserving the delicate balance necessary to maintain Earth’s temperature. WCPJE Meeting, Wednesday, March 16th at 7 pm. Zoom link:

See the History, and Possible Future of the Watertown Dam and the Charles River

Charlie BreitroseThe Watertown Dam near Watertown Square slows the flow of the Charles River. A group is advocating removing the dam. The Charles River Watershed Association recently produced a history of the Charles River, including a look at the Watertown Dam, called A River Interrupted. The group is advocating for the removal of the dam near Watertown Square as a way to return the Charles to its natural state. One reason is to help migrating restore the numbers of migrating species in the river that struggle to get upstream due to the dam and other obstacles.

Watertown Group Joining Other Communities for Webinar Focusing on Green New Deal

The following announcement was provided by Watertown Facing Climate Change:

The Watertown Facing Climate Change committee is working with other local communities to support state legislation. You can become more informed and take collective action by joining us on the “Bring the Green New Deal Home Actionar.” (An actionar is like a webinar but with action). You can participate on either days: 

Monday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., or

Tuesday, Jan.

LETTER: Watertown Group Concerned About Loss of Trees on Private Properties

Dear fellow Watertown citizens:

The recent removal of multiple mature trees on Olcott Street raises significant issues about the proper balance of public and private interests here in Watertown. While a private landowner has a right to dispose of trees as they see fit, Watertown must recognize that the benefits of mature trees extend beyond the lot they sit on and are an asset to the community as a whole. Watertown is expending considerable resources to combat climate change and improve the community’s quality of life. Major investments have been made in street trees and in enhanced storm drainage systems designed to protect the city from climate-related extreme storms. Yet these efforts cannot succeed if they are at odds with actions on private land where 80 percent of the city’s tree canopy sits. The rights of private landowners are fundamental to our system.

Group Advocating for Removal of Watertown Dam Hosting Virtual Meeting

Charlie BreitroseThe Watertown Dam near Watertown Square slows the flow of the Charles River. A group is advocating removing the dam. The following announcement was provided by the Charles River Watershed Association:

The Dam Removal Movement Why Watertown Dam Should Be Next Virtual Event Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Across Massachusetts, there is a growing movement to remove aging, defunct mill dams and restore free-flowing, climate-resilient rivers. There are numerous benefits and considerations to dam removal, including reinstating migratory fish passage, restoring the ecosystem, and protecting downstream communities from catastrophic flooding.

LETTER: East End Resident Urges Alternatives to New Gas Lines

Over the last half year or so, my East End neighborhood has been torn up by National Grid in an epic quest to replace our 100-year-old leaky gas lines. The local contractors have been doing a great job and overall I don’t have any immediate complaints about their work. However, I wonder if all this upheaval is a huge waste? Our old gas lines have been in the ground for 100 years, and are very leaky. The methane that leaks from these lines is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and I definitely agree that these leaks need to stop.

New Program Seeks to Make Watertown More Green, Promote Planting of Street Trees

City of PhiladelphiaTree trenches will allow for improved dispersion of excess storm water. The Town of Watertown plans to install 15 tree trenches around the community. By James Briand, Trees for Watertown

A drive around Watertown quickly reveals that green assets — shade, permeable surfaces, and advanced drainage systems — are unevenly distributed. While some areas have abundant, mature shade trees and street-side planting strips overflowing with flowers, other neighborhoods are treeless, and non-permeable asphalt surfaces define the streets. This is not just a matter of beauty.