KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Taking on the impacts of climate change can seem like a tall task, but a group that started in Kennebunkport is an example of Mainers shaping the conversation about climate action.
The Kennebunkport Climate Initiative is a new, non-partisan organization, using climate science to educate and empower the youth who will form our future.
While it's a small town, Kennebunkport is looking to be one of the leaders in taking action to address changes to our environment.
The organization stemmed from a Gulf of Maine Field Studies class -- a collaboration with Kennebunk High School, University of New England, the Gulf of Maine Institute, and Kennebunkport Conservation Trust. Students are taking observations, learning about the science of climate change, and starting meaningful conversations in the community about how to prevent future effects. Maine's unique ecosystem makes it a natural place for this kind of activity to begin.
"There's not yet one community around the globe that has said we are the climate capital of generating ideas and positive solutions for youth around climate action," Jono Anzalone, Executive Director of KCI, says.
Maine's unique ecosystems make it an obvious choice to follow climate changes.
"I think Maine's a case study for the ecological diversity that we have, but also the risks. A lot of folks when they look at beautiful landscapes like this, they see multimillion-dollar homes, right? But in reality, we know this is a non-discriminatory phenomenon, that impacts lobster people, fishermen, and communities that are often the most at risk," Anzalone adds.
Their target age group is 14 to 24-year-olds. The initiative's work is already reaching beyond Maine, through its website, webinars, and online learning programs. They aspire to reach ten million youth with climate science by 2025.