Friday Night Dialogues: Preparedness in a changing world

COURTESY ILLUSTRATION A 1950 pictorial map of Shelter Island illustrated by The Nelson Studio, St. James, N.Y.

The shape of Shelter Island is changing. The impacts will be felt on our roads, utility infrastructure, drinking water and building lots -— especially near the shore. We should know what to expect and plan accordingly. Mashomack Preserve Director Jeremy Samuelson will address the role that The Nature Conservancy plays in bringing together community members, elected officials and planning professionals. He will talk about what we can expect in the years and decades to come at the Shelter Island Library’s Friday Night Dialogue on Friday, March 8.

Beginning the conversation now will save both time and taxpayer dollars going forward. But the conversation requires a common nomenclature: Storm surge, tidal inundation, vulnerability, repetitive loss, resiliency and adaptation, to name a few. The conversation will highlight tools for modeling storm impacts and risk mapping from New York Department of State, US EPA, DEC and FEMA. It’s up to our community to develop a plan to reduce our exposure and to protect vulnerable assets.

Other East End communities are leading the region in conducting coastal assessments and in creating resiliency plans to protect social, economic and ecological resources. Jeremy Samuelson will share his perspective developed over two decades working as a professional planner and natural resources manager across the East End.

As Jeremy states, “70 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of a coastline” and that includes all of us on Long Island! The impacts of rising sea levels and increasing storm frequency are already here. Join the conversation to help shape the short- and long-term plans that will protect our vibrant but vulnerable coastal community. Join us at the library, Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. Admission is free with donations gladly accepted.

In addition, on Saturday, March 9, Jeremy Samuelson will guide some walking tours to view and discuss the coastlines of Mashomack.

Up next: Virginia Gerardi will speak about the Burning Man Community on Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m.

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