Sitka Conservation Society

Climate Change and Energy Conservation

Just because Sitka is a small town, the Sitka Conservation Society does not believe that means it can’t be a national leader in taking on climate change. The idea is that if little Sitka can take progressive steps, why can’t any other community?  To help address climate change in Sitka, SCS has advocated for increasing the city’s hydroelectric capacity and organized energy conservation programs to help individuals improve the energy efficiency of their homes.  This has been done through traditional advocacy as well as new partnerships with the City of Sitka and other entities.  We also are striving to increase the amount of local foods being consumed in Sitka to both lower individual carbon footprints and decrease dependency on the outside world.  In the last few years, great progress has been made in Sitka, and SCS is now spreading the word of Sitka’s successes to leaders in other communities.

Energize SitkaEnergize! Sitka

Energize! Sitka is a partnership between the Southeast Alaska Career Center and Sitka Conservation Society.  Its aim is to make Sitka more energy efficient by providing residents with extensive professional training and certifications for “green” jobs in the areas of construction, carpentry, and weatherization techniques, and provides community-wide outreach for home weatherization and energy efficiency.

 

Kids’ Energy Awareness

Educating young people about energy issues is the best way to ensure an energy independent future for Sitka. The Sitka Conservation Society has begun visiting school classes to talk about energy.  Lessons in the classroom visits include Sitka’s energy situation and conservation, fossil fuels in Alaska, home weatherization, and home and building energy audits.

 

 

Energy Conservation Outreach

To help the community of Sitka rely less on supplemental diesel energy and to lower Sitka’s carbon footprint, the Sitka Conservation Society has worked to keep year-round messages of energy conservation and efficiency in local and regional media to inform residents about state weatherization programs, local energy updates and utility changes, and simple home weatherization projects.

 

Climate Change in the Tongass

SCS is keeping a close watch on how climate change affects the Tongass through annual summer field work.  This research, which supplements that being done by the Forest Service and other agencies, includes monitoring changes in ice packs, glaciers, and plant and animal population. While we hate to see the Tongass negatively impacted by global warming, having good data on these changes is crucial for climate change advocacy work that could ultimately prevent future harm.

 

Rain PowerRain Power Film

The Sitka Conservation Society and Pundit Productions produced the short film “Rain Power” in 2010 with the primary goal of encouraging policy makers to support a hydroelectric expansion in Sitka. The film shows that a small community like Sitka can be a leader in renewable energy, and that hydropower can be set up in a way not to damage fish runs.

 

 

History of Renewable Energy and Climate Action in Sitka

The efforts that SCS has helped catalyze locally have helped Sitka become a vanguard for Alaska communities in looking beyond an oil-dependent economy to a renewable energy future with investments and policy that helps local communities.   We have a long ways to go, but we have built a strong foundation and we are showing how small communities are finding solutions for global challenges.

 

 

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