Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Your Environment Podcast

On this week’s Your Environment podcast, OSI CEO and President Kim Elliman discusses Hurricane Sandy and what groups like OSI can do to help mitigate the impacts of a changing climate.

Every Friday, listen for a new  Your Environment from the organizations working to protect the Hudson River Valley.

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November 16, 2012  -  Many of us in New York City, New Jersey and the environs are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed homes, wrecked businesses and disrupted every facet of life for hundreds of thousands of people two weeks ago.

What is almost unbelievable is that Irene did virtually the same thing in parts of our region just 14 months earlier.

These superstorms are a sure indicator that our world is changing. As the Earth’s temperature slowly warms and sea levels rise, we’re seeing extreme weather patterns, loss of habitat and food security problems worldwide. Here in the Hudson Valley, we’ve not only been battered by superstorms two years in a row; we’re also seeing wildlife displaced as its habitat changes due to the effects of climate change. 

In places like Black Rock Forest, Hudson Highlands State Park and Schunnemunk State Park, the Open Space Institute is working diligently with a number of partners to protect conservation corridors—properties that connect already-preserved lands, giving animals more freedom to roam as their homelands change.

We’re also working with some of the brightest scientific minds on the East Coast to identify and protect lands throughout the region that we believe will be most resistant to the long-term effects of climate change. It will be critical in coming years that we protect these diverse, “resilient” landscapes because scientists believe they will provide habitat for wildlife now and well into the future, even as the climate continues to change.

Additionally, our focus remains on conservation targets such as watersheds and riparian setbacks, which can modify the impacts of severe storms and will be better suited to handle the 100-year floods which come with far greater frequency these days.

Climate change is a tangible reality that has now touched us all. It’s something that we’ll have to consider carefully as we work with planning and elected officials to make decisions about infrastructure, how develop our cities and towns, and where to conserve land.

I encourage listeners to support organizations like OSI and the others working to protect the Hudson River Valley. You can find much more information about the work we’re doing to combat climate change on our website: www.osiny.org.



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