On Thursday, you are invited to join the scientists, lawyers and engineers gathered at the 2022 Southwest Florida Climate Summit in downtown Fort Myers, to learn more about how to protect our beautiful region and wildlife. .
The purpose of the summit is to inform and engage community members on what they can do to be better prepared for future events such as hurricanes, sea level rise and climate change.
Jennifer Hecker, executive director of the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership, said some of the topics that will be discussed at the summit include the science behind impacts on water and wetlands, and how people can make these wetlands and these more resilient water resources. She hopes community members will leave the summit knowing how they and their families and communities can prepare for the impacts of climate change.
“It’s happening right now,” Hecker said. “So there is a certain urgency; we need to redouble our efforts and really take these investments seriously now to reduce the level of impacts that we are already seeing and that will continue to happen in our communities.
One of the SWFL Climate Summit presenters said more than 1,000 people commute to Florida every day. The more people that move here, the more developed land there is, which can lead to things being built in areas that are critical to connecting wildlife habitats.
Joshua Daskin, director of conservation at Archbold Biological Station, says it all comes down to building thoughtfully. He says planning ahead and using visions like the Florida Wildlife Corridor gives leaders the opportunity to get a head start. At the summit, Daskin will present on how the Florida Wildlife Corridor is critical to wildlife resilience, preservation plans, and being realistic about future development.
“Yeah, I think it would be naive to say development isn’t going to happen or can be stopped,” Daskin said. “And I don’t think that’s necessarily necessary to have the kind of green infrastructure and habitat needed for wildlife in Florida. What it takes, again, is using careful planning and data scientists, who are available to plan where people should grow.
The summit will begin at 9 a.m. and run through Friday at 4:30 p.m. You can watch it online or attend in person at the Collaboratory, located at 2031 Jackson St. in downtown Fort Myers. Visit the summit website for registration details and more.
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