Last Saturday at the 10th Annual Vegetarian Festival in Bryan Park, Richmond, Virginia I experienced my first day petitioning with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network as we began our new campaign – Safe Coastlines. Throughout this campaign we will be collecting thousands of petitions and calling on Virginia policymakers and Dominion power to develop energy efficiency and clean energy, as well reducing the current climate impacts that were already noticing. I was excited to see that virtually everybody was as passionate about protecting Virginia’s coastline from climate change devastation as I am.  

The other interns and I, along with four dedicated volunteers collected almost 400 petitions. One family in particular who I spoke with who were visiting Richmond for the Vegetarian Festival had personal connections with the threat that climate change poses to their home. They felt that each storm can be the next “big one”. They came up to the CCAN booth telling us their stories and how glad they are that we are fighting this critical issue. 

In addition to the 398 petitions that were signed, 83 people signed up to volunteer to help us engage thousands of Virginians on our new Safe Coastlines Campaign. Keep an eye for more updates from the field from Virginia’s new fellow and intern team! I’m thrilled to begin work on this campaign because I’m passionate about learning about new ways to help my community by fighting this issue in a variety of ways. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network provided an excellent training and framework for me to begin this exciting new campaign with them. I’m excited for the Vegetarian Festival next year as the weather was beautiful, dogs were everywhere, and everybody that I talked with was as passionate about the environment as I am.

Check out this link to read an op-ed about rising sea level in Norfolk written by our executive director Mike Tidwell


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