On November 30, the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted a one-day conference for the start of Massachusetts Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Network (Mass ECAN). Participants gathered at the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters in Westborough.
Mass ECAN is a new community of practice for climate change adaptation practitioners and researchers who are interested in ecosystem resilience and natural resources conservation. The network is a way to build community and increase knowledge-sharing among those working on reducing negative impacts of climate change on ecosystems and species, as well as those interested in overlap in adaptation actions with related sectors, like transportation, or co-benefits to municipalities, such as through the use of nature-based solutions.
“We’re excited by all the interest and participation since launching in October,” says Melissa Ocana, Mass ECAN Coordinator from UMass Extension and Department of Environmental Conservation.
Eighty-five participants attended the conference from across Massachusetts, representing conservation nonprofit organizations, municipal committees, businesses, universities, and federal and state agencies. UMass Amherst and the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment were among several sponsors. The organizers are working with members to shape next steps for the network.
Scott Jackson, Extension Associate Professor at UMass Amherst, commented, “We are fortunate to live in Massachusetts, where there is great climate adaptation work being done and great potential to do more together. Mass ECAN can help us learn from each other and maximize our impact.”
Additional details can be found at massecan.org.