16th Annual Community Forum on Kansas Environmental Issues
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Thursday, October 5, 2017
This event has concluded.
“Crisis in Cowtown? Coping with Climate Change”
What to expect locally and how to build resilient communities.
Thursday, October 5, 2017 at the new Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS
5:30 p.m. Hearty appetizers by Broadmoor Bistro
with wine, beer, tea, lemonade and water
Exhibit tables from 13 local environmental organizations
Kansas Natural Resource CouncilSierra Club, Kanza Group
MidAmerica Regional Council
True Blue Women
Heartland Conservation Alliance
Friends of the Kaw
League of Women Voters
350 .org KC
KC Food Circle
Climate and Energy Project
6:45 p.m. Bill Ward Award & Legislative Update by Zach Pistora
7:00 p.m. Panel: Local Climate Change Projections through 2050
8:30 p.m. Adjourn
$20 per person admission; $10 per student with I.D.
Climate change is occurring now in our region and will continue even with the most aggressive mitigation efforts. The trend for our area is warmer and wetter. Estimates based on recent studies suggest average temperatures will increase about 8 degrees Fahrenheit and precipitation will increase almost 6 inches annually in the years 2061 to 2100. Those two factors—temperature and rainfall—will combine to produce conditions that will challenge our metro area’s infrastructure, as well as health and social institutions, in ways both predictable and surprising. Some impacts are already being felt.
Certainly, we all want to keep Kansas City among the most vibrant and livable metropolitan areas in the nation. How will we adapt? What kind of planning is already underway? It is important for our state and local governments, businesses, nonprofits and agricultural organizations—and individuals—to evaluate our vulnerabilities, discuss costs and options, and prioritize projects. Many projects such as a new airport, stormwater management systems, and home improvements need to be considered in light of climate change impacts. Our health care systems will need to deal with new diseases caused by higher temperatures and wetter conditions.
At the 16th annual Community Forum, our panel of experts will review the latest data, discuss the coming environmental challenges and harness that fabled midwestern pragmatism to consider our options and step forward with an action plan.
The focus is local. Our panel will cover aspects of the impact of a changing climate in and around the KC metro area.
Tom Jacobs, Director of Environmental Programs at the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) will present findings from recent studies focused on local climate and the Regional Strategy for Climate Resilience which was adopted by the MARC Board of Directors in June, 2017.
Tom has twenty-five years of experience working in Kansas City and internationally at the intersection of sustainable community development and natural resource management. Tom helped lead a consortium comprised of Bridging the Gap; Johnson County; Kansas City, Missouri; and MARC to develop a Regional Climate Resilience Strategy. The MARC Board of Directors adopted this strategy in June 2017. We are excited to hear how our communities can work together to promote a livable future in the face of climate change!
Lara Isch is the KC Water Quality Educator, where she is responsible for implementation of water quality education and outreach for the Wastewater and Stormwater Utilities. She administers the “Journey of Stormwater” curriculum and serves as co-chair of the Mid America Regional Council’s Water Quality Education Committee. In a year in which stormwater has gotten the attention of area residents, this should be an informative program for attendees. Laura has worked in KC's Household Hazardous Waste program and has a degree in Environmental Studies with concentrations in science and policy.
Lougene Marsh has served as Director of Johnson County Department of Health and Environment since April 6, 2009, after working eight years as Director of Lyon County Health Department/Flint Hills Community Health Center. Prior to that time, she worked for Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas . Ms. Marsh will focus on the impact of environment on public health.