Bayside Warned to Prepare for Rising Sea Levels by Experts

Dr. Cameron Wake, of the U. of New Hampshire at Forum.

Dr. Cameron Wake, of the U. of New Hampshire at Forum.

By Carol McCracken

“The Gulf of Maine is the bulls eye for climate change because it is warming faster than any other body of water in the world,” Dr. Cameron Wake, a climate scientist at the University of New Hampshire told a crowd at Mayo Street Arts yesterday afternoon.

Bayside is the lowest section of Portland.  As such it has already been affected by flooding.  Back in the fall of 2015 streets in Bayside were flooded and numerous vehicles were damaged because of the rising sea levels.

“Climate change is the most challenging problem that humans have to face,” Wake told the crowd of already believers.   There are other problems such as food insecurity and public health issues, but climate change needs to be addressed first.  Wake said that since 1970 warming has been driven by humans.  “2016 is apt to be the warmest of any other year,” he said.

Local communities need to establish priorities on where to make a stand on mitigating the effects of climate change.  Will it be through code enforcement changes for future building that takes place in Bayside? wonders where anti-climate change city councilors Nick Mavadones and David Brennerman would come down on code enforcement  changes for building in Bayside.  The priorities of these two strongly business oriented councilors might well be in conflict with what Baysiders decide are in the best interests of their community.

The forum was made possible by a grant of $10,000. from the National League of Cities (NLC).  It is part of a pilot program to provide technical assistance and public development opportunities for selected cities.  Portland is one of ten cites selected for the grant.  The grant was secured by former city councilor Jon Hinck, who attended the forum. No other city councilors attended, however.

This forum is the first in what is expected to be a series of public meetings on the subject of climate change and best ways to mitigate its effects in Bayside and beyond.  It’s an issue that will always be before the public to deal with – the issue won’t go away, Dr. Wake said.