Friday, May 3, 2013

The Heart of Rock and Roll (and Climate Adaptation) are in Cleveland!

By Lara Hansen and Alex Score

EcoAdapt just got back from Cleveland. There is a lot of exciting stuff going on there in northern Ohio. First off, we are happy to report that the Cuyahoga River was flowing without flame! Hooray for the Clean Water Act! 
Thanks to the Clean Water Act, the Cuyahoga no longer does this. Hooray!

(Photo from Cleveland Press Collection at
 Cleveland State University Library.)
Secondly, we are also happy to report that the City of Cleveland, along with some partners in surrounding communities and county agencies, has an effort afoot to develop a Climate Action Plan that not only aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also includes actions to help the region prepare for and respond to the effects of climate change. 

Learning and innovating in Cleveland.
Thirdly, we were thrilled to meet the 20 people who came to the Awareness to Action workshop we ran with Freshwater Future as one of their regional Climate Symposia. These individuals are part of community development corporations, watershed protection groups, conservation organizations and interested individuals from all around the region. They learned some basics about adaptation, shared some ideas of their own and developed a new understanding of how to approach their work so that climate change would no longer be overlooked in their decision-making. Some of them will even get grants from Freshwater Future to support their clever new ideas.


Finally, there is an urban agriculture renaissance afoot in Cleveland. In addition to the traditional pea patches and fruit trees, some innovators have started viticulture in a downtown neighborhood. Chateau Hough, is located on ¾ of an acre at the corner of 66th and Hough in downtown Cleveland. 

A tree may grow in Brooklyn, but grapes grow in Cleveland.

They are planning the first vintage in 2013. While productive wine grapes in Cleveland might sound like a benefit of climate change, this might be a short lived innovation if projections by Hannah et al. (2013) are correct and viticulture suitability diminishes in the region mid-century (that’s what the red means in the figure below, its suitable now but not in the future). But the good citizens of Cleveland will reap the benefits in the meantime! Hey, if they plant the right varieties they may be adaptable and the wine culture can continue. Salut!

(From Hannah et al. 2013)