Essex County is characterized, in part, by the ocean, coastline, and the expansive Great Marsh. Over half of the 34 cities and towns in the county border
the Gulf of Maine. The northeast is experiencing a range of climate-related impacts, but is particularly susceptible to sea level rise and
flooding, the impacts of which can already be seen in our communities. Since 2018, Greenbelt has been engaged in a suite of projects to directly address the impacts of
Climate Change Video
Greenbelt has produced a video about our headquarters, the Cox Reservation, a Greenbelt-owned coastal property in Essex.
In this video we explore topics such as local and regional impacts of climate change, the threats to the Reservation, the role of land conservation in climate resilience, and the threats to
wildlife and natural systems from sea level rise and flooding.
The video includes interviews with local experts, volunteers, and Greenbelt staff. It can be seen here on Vimeo.
(Eagle Tribune Photo: 2006 Mother's Day Storm, Lawrence MA)
Climate Themed Story Maps
This summer we released two new story maps focused on the topic of climate resilience.
These stories combine photography, video, narrative, and interactive mapping.
The climate resilience story maps allow users to learn about the projected impacts of sea level rise and coastal flooding in their communities and will showcase examples of research and
around climate within our region.
Over the last two years, Greenbelt has been working on a unique project to prioritize our land conservation work.
Using mapping software, we evaluated land parcels for their capacity to mitigate floodwater, support biodiversity in a warming climate, protect our drinking water, produce
natural cooling effects in hot urban areas, as well as support habitat and agriculture.
Here you can see our methodology document, which explains the background of the analysis and
highlights the data, methods, and scoring behind the prioritization.
Greenbelt has been working with municipal partners in Essex and Gloucester to refine this data for improved municipal use. That work has led to collaborations with
additional communities, where Greenbelt has provided custom maps for open space and municipal vulnerability planning purposes.
We are looking to expand these partnerships in 2020 and beyond, and are excited about the opportunities to incorporate climate resiliency into planning at many different
Climate Resilience Webinar
This webinar was hosted by Greenbelt for municipal and land trust employees and volunteers interested in climate resiliency and conservation planning.
In this presentation, we shared the results of our analysis work to prioritize parcels for flood mitigation, urban cooling, natural resilience, and drinking water and discussed how the
results can be used for planning and grant funding opportunities.
The webinar took place live on June 17th at 12:00pm.