East Hampton Town has been designated a Climate Smart Community through the Climate Smart Community Program, becoming the seventh community in New York State to receive this designation.
The New York State Climate Smart Communities program aims to recognize municipalities that work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the impact of climate change and save taxpayer money. Communities attempting to achieve the certification pledge to act on ten areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
This achievement is part of the East Hampton Town Board’s efforts to become more resilient to the effects of climate change, including sea level rise and extreme weather. Communities that become certified work to reduce their carbon footprint and make their coastline more resilient against storms. The town unveiled a Climate Action Plan designed to meet these goals in October 2015.
To date, more than 170 communities, representing 6.6 million New Yorkers, have signed the Climate Smart Communities, but only six communities other than East Hampton have been certified by the state.
Southampton Town and the Village of Greenport have also signed the pledge.
The Town of East Hampton first adopted the pledge to become a Climate Smart Community in 2009 and the pledge was reaffirmed in 2010.
The town’s Department of Natural Resources led the efforts to extensively document the town’s efforts to achieve the certification.
“The town’s documentation process was greatly assisted by volunteers from the Town’s Energy & Sustainability Committee,” said East Hampton Climate Smart Coordinator John Sousa-Botos.
“The department is undertaking a number of projects to enhance the town’s sustainability and resiliency efforts,” said Natural Resources Director Kimberly Shaw. “This achievement of certification only adds to the town’s ability to implement improvements throughout East Hampton.”
“The town is experiencing a changing coast line and scientists are improving their modeling to demonstrate that we need to prepare to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change,” said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell. “By becoming a Certified Community, the town becomes eligible for unique funding opportunities that will put forth new technologies and methods to adapt and become more resilient. This is just another step in the direction East Hampton wants to go. The town will work hard over the next year to see how the town can achieve greater Certification levels as we improve our resiliency.”
“East Hampton’s leadership in acting on climate change is exemplary, said acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Achieving status as a certified Climate Smart Community means the town has implemented a wide range of actions that both reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and help protect the town from extreme weather. I applaud East Hampton’s commitment to preserving natural resources and utilizing renewable energy, and I encourage more communities across New York State follow its example.”