This is an ambitious three year sailing and community-growing project with the purpose of enhancing climate change awareness and education, and building alliances in communities along the shores of Lake Superior.
The climate is changing, and scientific evidence is overwhelming that greenhouse gases (CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels in particular) are the principle cause. Lake Superior is not immune to the effects of climate change. The Lake temperature has risen six degrees Fahrenheit in the past thirty years and continues to rise at a faster rate than other large lakes around the world. Warmer temperatures open the door to invasive species. Water levels continue to decline causing problems for both commercial shipping and recreational boaters. Weather patterns are changing too; as sailors who have traveled Lake Superior over two decades, we can speak anecdotally on the increasing unpredictability of the wind in each season and the fact that every year our season is extended due to warm springs and warm falls. These are just a few of the many signs of climate change on Lake Superior. These changes are having a deep and lasting impact on Lake Superior communities.
The project has three main goals:
1. Provide opportunities for young adults to engage in, learn about and become active in climate change issues.
2. Increase climate change awareness and build alliances in the climate change movement in Lake Superior communities.
3. Expose young adults to lifestyle choices that are both intentional and environmentally sustainable
Three levels of connection in each community we visit:
1. Climate Change 101 – We will conduct a 60-minute presentation (with discussion afterwards) that is open a to all community members. The presentations will cover the effect of climate change on the Lake Superior watershed and offer plans of collective and individual action. Presentations will be held at a central community location such as libraries, schools, or community centers.
2. Alliance Building – We will connect with, collaborate with, and support local organizers or active supporters. This relationship-building process will begin before our arrival and continue after we have left. We all share Lake Superior; it is in all of our best interests to stay connected and support one another with a unified message.
3. Elder Testimonials – Elders will be identified and contacted in each community and interviewed (on film) about their personal history of Lake Superior. Special attention will be paid to note changes to the Lake they have witnessed over the years that relate to climate change.
Project participants will:
1. Assist in the planning and preparations for each trip.
2. Conduct presentations in communities.
3. Take on crew responsibilities while sailing aboard Amicus II
Impacts for this project will be:
1. Increased awareness for targeted communities around the impact climate change is having on Lake Superior.
2. Communities will have better understanding of steps they can take to minimize the effects of climate change.
Individuals and groups in targeted communities who are concerned about climate change will have the opportunity to network and build alliances in working towards solutions to climate change.
4. Elders in targeted communities will be able to tell their story as a witness to climate change impacts on Lake Superior.
5. Young adult crew aboard Amicus II will learn strategies for creating awareness and organizing around climate change issues.
6. Young adult crew aboard Amicus II will experience firsthand how to live a lifestyle that is both intentional and environmentally sustainable.
Communities to be visited:
Year One: Year Two: Year Three:
Ashland/Bayfield, WI Sault St Marie, ON & US Thunder Bay, ON
Houghton, MI Nipigon, ON Rossport, ON
Marquette, MI Marathon, ON Grand Portage, MN
Grand Marais, MN
When will it start?
The project will involve three sailing trips over a three year period. Each trip will be approximately five weeks in length and each trip will visit at least three Lake Superior communities. Participants commit to only one of the three trips. The trips will be conducted aboard Amicus II. Four young adults (18-25) will be aboard Amicus II on each trip.
First trip will be May 5th to June 10, 2014. Cost: $325.00
Contact Mark and Katya Gordon at Amicus Adventure Sailing
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