A Watershed Moment: Climate Change in Grand Rapids

In this week’s Watershed Moment, WMEAC’s Policy & Community Advocacy Director Nick Occhipinti talks about the recently released Climate Resiliency Report. He covers how climate change affects the city of Grand Rapids in the summertime in relation to water and energy use.

According to the report, Grand Rapids will be seeing longer stretches of hotter and more humid summer days. This translates into cooling centers being open longer and air conditioners being used more often, which puts more green house gases into the air.

“I really want you to imagine a climate knot that whenever you pull on a thread it tightens in other places and you really have to dissect it carefully to maximize returns to the city.”

There are 38 recommendations that cover economic, social, and environmental perspectives, but Occhipinti says that almost 75% of them were pulled from existing plans.

“The city is already doing a lot through sustainability planning.”

The infrastructure of the city such as parks, pools, and splash pads should be considered by city decision makers to be climate resiliency infrastructure. These locations can help absorb more water thereby preventing water runoff.

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life. Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Mondays at 8:30 a.m, and Thursdays and Sundays at 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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