2019 Concurrent Sessions

Holding Climate Movements Accountable

Activism 10:05 am-11:05 am

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the principles of climate justice organizing, beginning with an exploration of power, privilege, and the systems of oppression as root causes of the continued inaction to stop global warming. We’ll break into small groups to discuss: the Just Transition Framework and creating a new economy that works; unpacking categories for effective and urgent climate action; and introducing principles for anti-oppressive climate action as a tool for holding movements accountable.

Derek Hoshiko is a community-supported organizer with For the People.  He is launching a bold project – Rapid and Just Climate Action – organizing with communities in Washington State to stop global warming within 10-years by building broader, more inclusive movements.

Resources

Holding Climate Movements Accountable – Being on a Journey, presentation.pdf

For The People, facebook page


How to Devise Smart Strategies for the Climate Movement!

Activism 11:20 am-12:35 pm

We can create creative and positive strategies and opportunities for strengthening the climate movement by using two models (the “Spectrum of Allies” and the “Pillars” models) that are highly adaptable to many kinds of issues, including the climate. This highly participatory workshop will encourage fresh, creative thinking to generate possible strategies and activities. The “Spectrum of Allies” model will help us reach out to various kinds of people and moving them toward our goals. The “Pillars” model will help us weaken the opposition to the climate movement, so we’ll be better able to reach our goals.

Glen Anderson has 50 years of experience in grassroots organizing for peace, social justice and other issues. His multi-issue blog is www.parallaxperspectives.org

Resources

Dismantle the “Pillars” that Perpetuate the Climate Crisis, handout.pdf

“Spectrum of Allies” to Strengthen the Climate Movement, handout.pdf


Environmental Grief, Hope and Healing

Activism 11:20 am-12:35 pm

We don’t often hear about much hope for our future, but the tide seems to be turning in favor of our planet.  Join us as we delve into this particular form of grief to learn what it is, how to care for yourself through it all and how we can use it to take action to save our fragile planet.

Kriss Kevorkian, PhD, MSW holds a doctorate in the study of death, dying and bereavement.  She teaches at Walden University, hosts a “Death Café” monthly discussion in Gig Harbor, and is a Climate Reality Leader and is a founder of Legal Rights for the Salish Sea.


Folly Of Frack, a Play & Discussion

Activism 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

Folly Of Frack is a play about the extraction, mythologies and realities of fracked gas and proposed fracked gas projects that threaten the Pacific Northwest.  With an energetic flurry of bizarre characters, we present fast-paced entertainment to introduce the harms of full-cycle fracked gas production. 

The play will be followed by a slideshow-discussion of other examples of creative fossil fuel resistance, such as stunts, spectacles, parades and flash-mobs. Through props, costumes, visuals and video, we’ll share how to use “story-telling” in explaining the impacts of fossil fuel expansion.”

Jan Zuckerman, Susan Monson, Kelly O’Hanley, Jim Plunkett, Bonnie McKinlay


Sparking Action Among Faith Communities

Advocacy 10:05 am-11:05 am

You and I know:  Climate Change is not just an environmental crisis; it is a medical emergency, an agricultural emergency, an extreme weather emergency, and at its core, a moral and spiritual crisis.  It is also an invitation to build, innovate, effect change, and most importantly, awaken our love and compassion.  How do we bring our Prophetic Voice to communities of Faith and spark action? This workshop will include: 1) Initial contact, 2) Presentation ideas/slides, 3) Ways to involve clergy, Green Teams, congregants, 4) Collaboration with Earth Ministry, Faith Action Network, others, 5) Making Climate Action part of every congregation.  Frank Turner will introduce our spirited, fledgling, Olympia Colleagues Group / Earth Ministry.

Barak Gale (pictured) is an organizer among rabbis and Jewish community, Volunteer with Earth Ministry Olympia Colleagues, Green Team of Temple Beth Hatfiloh, Climate Reality Thurston Chapter Leadership Team.

Frank Turner is an organizer of Earth Ministry Olympia Colleagues, Activist with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and Member of Unitarian Universalist Church.


Adaptation and Mitigation: Thurston County’s Two-Pronged Approach to Climate Action

Advocacy 11:20 am-12:35 pm

Have you been confused about what the difference is between our Thurston County Climate Adaptation Plan and the Mitigation Plan? Learn about both and how the public sector and community advocates are working together to plan and implement regional climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. Also find out how to influence the climate mitigation plan now being developed

Paul Brewster is a Senior Planner at Thurston Regional Planning Council.

Tom Crawford is a founding member of the Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT), and currently serves as its Board Chair. He organized the county-wide greenhouse gas inventory, and led a county-wide poll of residents’ attitudes toward climate change and clean energy.

Resources

Session Video on YouTube

Local Action on Climate Change, Crawford presentation.pdf

Sustainable Thurston, Thurston Regional Planning Council website

Thurston Climate Adaptation Plan, Thurston Regional Planning Council website

Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan, Thurston Regional Planning Council website

Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report for Calendar Years 2010 – 2016.pdf

Carbon Free Thurston, website


Sunrising on a Green New Deal

Advocacy 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

Have you been hearing in the news about the efforts in Congress to get a Green New Deal? Sunrise is a youth-led organization that focuses on climate justice and the creation of millions of new jobs along the way.  We are working towards a cleaner, healthier future through political engagement and supporting the Green New Deal. Join us in our workshop to learn about the Green New Deal and what action you can take with the Sunrise Movement to fight corrupt politicians and climate change.  


Jaime Cruickshank (pictured) is an Evergreen Student and one of the founders of the local chapter of Sunrise.

Brian Wilcock is also an Evergreen Student and one of the founders of the local chapter of Sunrise.


National Climate Legislation

Citizens’ Climate Lobby 10:05 am – 11:05 am

Congress is holding hearings, debating climate related legislation and regulations and making changes. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act HR 763, introduced in the House of Representatives with bi-partisan sponsorship, would place a rising price on fossil fuels, and return the revenue to American families. It would boost progress toward development of a clean energy economy and create jobs. Who supports this bill and why and what does it say? What is the opposition saying? Learn how you can be involved with helping Congress develop effective, fair and durable legislation that changes national climate policy.

Mike Kelly, founder and CEO at Tech DNA, a tech consultancy. He is a long time environmental and peace activist, now volunteering as chapter leader with Bainbridge Island Citizens’ Climate Lobby. 

Resources

Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, presentation.pdf

Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, CCL website

Dividend Delivery Study, CCL website

Household Impact Study, CCL website


Communicating Across the Political Divide

Citizens’ Climate Lobby 10:05 am – 11:05 am

This talk will provide convention participants insight to approaches to engage members of the community that harken to a different political or policy orientation than one’s own — for example, people from the other side of the political divide.  People on both sides of the divide are regularly frustrated by an inability to connect with people on the other side.  Yet discovery of common ground is a hallmark of successful democracy. The talk will present research into value systems that typify conservatives and liberals as well as techniques to establish personal connections and initiate genuine, meaningful climate dialog. Interactive trials and exercises to allow participants to practice these approaches are planned. 

John Sandvig trained as an aeronautical engineer and spent a 35-year career with a large aerospace company in Puget Sound as an engineer and product development manager and executive.  In retirement John learned about the optimistic solution offered by Citizens Climate Lobby which caused him to dive into federal climate advocacy; he is one of two CCL WA State Co-Coordinators.

Resources

Communicating Across the Political Divide, presentation.pdf


Transformational Advocacy

Citizens’ Climate Lobby 11:20 am – 12:35 pm

How can we work together to draw people into public action and build capacity for effective and powerful advocacy for safe and fair climate policy? Citizens’ Climate Lobby offers resources for development of leadership, including skills and capacity for systemic, sustained activity. This training demonstrates methods for successful meetings between volunteers and elected officials, including research into prior actions and statements, and use of respectful, appreciative listening to identify shared values. Practices apply to techniques for grassroots and grasstops lobbying, such as media coverage, presentations, and inclusion of support from businesses, organizations and community leaders.

Gwen Hanson MD is a family medicine doctor in Bellevue, an avid bicyclist, a violinist, and the leader of the Bellevue chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Resources

Transformational Advocacy, presentation.pdf


Climate and National Security

Citizens’ Climate Lobby 2:25 pm – 3:25 pm

Climate change has been identified as a factor capable of turning strong governments into weak ones, and pushing weak governments into failure. The “grinding and inexorable” changes already impacting populations include food and water insecurity, loss of human habitat due to sea level rise, and loss of economic productivity due to heat waves and related health effects. Affected populations are pressuring governments in new ways but could also promote new levels of international cooperation.


Bob Hallahan is a retired U.S. Navy Commander and Naval Aviator. He deployed five times during his 23-year career, to world hotspots including Korea, Japan, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011 he earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Bob is an elected member of his local school board and has been group leader for the Whidbey Island chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby for several years. He flies worldwide in the commercial aviation industry. 

Resources

Climate and National Security, presentation.pdf


Making Dollars and Sense of Clean Energy

Citizens’ Climate Lobby 2:25 pm – 3:25 pm

Climate disasters cost more than building a clean energy economy, yet taxpayers continue to subsidize fossil fuels. Cost/benefit analyses can help lawmakers, investors, businesses, and taxpayers make decisions that are sustainable and profitable. Costs and risks of fossil fuels include fluctuating prices, stranded assets, petrostate instability, methane leakage and extreme weather.  We will look at various aspects of the economics of what energy sector we choose.

Louise Stonington, J.D. Retired Legal Services Lawyer, science teacher, peace and justice activist and now a co-coordinator for WA State Citizen’s Climate Lobby. 

RESOURCES

Dollars and Sense presentation, part 1.pdf

Dollars and Sense presentation, part 2.pdf


Climate Change Basics – 101

Education 10:05 am-11:05 am

Join us for a jam-packed hour moving from climate aware to climate educated and climate active. We’ll start with basic climate science, including local impacts and challenges plus mitigation measures and strides to reduce our region’s climate footprint. Then we’ll take a broader look at the global climate movement including the individuals, groups and initiatives working against the clock to ensure a livable, productive and carbon-free future. You’ll leave with a better understanding of the problem, the solutions, and how you can plug into local, state and global initiatives to make a difference now.

Rhonda Hunter is an ecosystem biologist, retired from Dept. of Ecology as Environmental Education Manager – Climate & Water; now a Climate Reality mentor, speaker, and a leader of the Thurston Climate Reality Chapter.

Donna Thompson has served as a volunteer leader and speaker, then mentor and chapter chair, with The Climate Reality Leadership Corps since 2013 and has been active in fighting large scale fossil fuel projects in the Port of Tacoma.


Northwest Trees, Forests & Climate

Education 11:20 am-12:35 pm

Trees and forests in the Northwest perform a sort of “commonplace miracle” — they help protect the climate by taking in surprising amounts of carbon and turning it into shady havens of green. They also make our cities healthier and more joyful places to live. We’ll talk about planting trees, protecting trees, and climate effects on trees. We’ll also describe groups and actions through which we can help the Northwest (re-)grow into its potential–as a place that can help carbon dioxide be transformed from a dangerous excess into beautiful trees and forests.

Jan Keller is a lifelong hiker and tree-lover. She lives in Bellevue and is very active in People for Climate Action (PCA), a coalition of groups that work to promote climate action by King County and the cities in King County.

Carolyn Rodenberg also loves trees, and protects them through legislative and public action.  She serves on the steering committee of the Tree Keepers Alliance and chairs her church’s environmental/climate committee.


Climate & Healthcare

Education 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

Did you know that cutting down trees both contributes to GHG and to asthma?  This workshop will discuss the interface between climate change and health.  Some of the solutions to climate change also contribute to our health.  We also discuss the equity issues involved.

Chris Covert-Bowlds is a Physician with Kaiser Permanente, a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and was the biggest Seattle signature gather for Initiative 1631 on Clean Energy.


A Bright Spot: Residential and Community Solar

Energy 10:05 am-11:05 am

This workshop will include an overview of solar and its benefits to consumers, the community and the environment.  Find out about changes that just happened in the legislature and solar technology.  We will look at how policy adaptation and utility trends will affect solar in our state.  Kirk will share his own story of lowering the carbon footprint of both his home and business.  In the second half of this workshop, learn about solutions to expand access to solar energy through Community Solar.  Join an interactive discussion about affordable renewable energy.

Kirk Haffner is the owner of South Sound Solar, a 10-year veteran of the industry, and an advocate for supporting legislative, community and policy adoption of renewable energy. 

Mason Rolph is the Chair of Olympia Community Solar, and a community solar consultant who is passionate about climate action.


Achieve 95% Fossil Free Electricity with Public Power Within Five Years

Energy 11:20 am-12:35 pm

Workshop on reducing our carbon emissions by developing a municipal electric utility with 1st tier priority to buy hydro power and other renewable energy from the Bonneville Power Authority. We could reduce our fossil fuel emissions from electricity from 59% with Puget Sound Energy today to 5-10% from a municipal electric utility within 5 years.

Randal Samstag is a professional civil and sanitary engineer with a consulting business on Bainbridge Island and an advocate for public power who has been a member of the Island Power and Bainbridge Climate and Energy Forum steering committees for over two years.

Steve Johnson was the Executive Director of the Washington Public Utility Districts Association for 23 years.  Since retiring in 2010 he has been active promoting public power on Bainbridge Island, and consulting on solar projects.


Take the Food Challenge

Food & Agriculture 10:05 am-11:05 am

Food production alone conservatively represents 9% of the US carbon foot print.  All of us are consumers of food and make food choices that impact our carbon foot print.  Learn about how eating an organic, local, plant-based diet and wasting less food can help stop climate change.  We will offer a series of choices for you to examine.  One third of all food in the US is wasted and the book Drawdown lists eliminating food waste as the third most effective solution to climate change, with the 4th being eating a plant-based diet.  We will also look at the social justice issues tied up in food production.

Lynn Fitz-Hugh founded 350Seattle.org as well as Faith Action Climate Team (FACT).  She is also this year’s TCAT program chair for the convention.

Resources

Session Video on YouTube


Waste Not, Want Not: Food Waste and Climate

Food & Agriculture 11:20 am-12:35 pm

In the United States, 63 million tons of food is thrown away, about 40 percent of the food grown, each year. Aside from the energy, water, labor and land wasted in growing uneaten foods, the methane generated from food in landfills contributes a sizable amount to greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, Project Drawdown identified reducing food waste as the third-most-effective way to combat climate change. In this workshop, you’ll learn about Food Rescue, a Thurston County program designed to redirect uneaten foods in businesses and schools away from landfills and towards those in need. You’ll also learn how you can support this local effort to recover more perishable edible food and fight hunger in our community, along with tips for reducing your personal food-waste footprint. Anyone who is interested in wasting less of your food, fighting hunger, conserving resources, combating climate change, and saving potentially thousands of dollars a year–this session is for you! 

Panelists:  Mary Harrington (Organics Management Lead); and Peter Guttchen (Solid Waste Planning) of the Washington State Department of Ecology; and Cathy Visser (Senior Nutrition Program Director), Senior Services for South Sound.


Reverse Climate Change thru Regenerative Agriculture

Food & Agriculture 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

Agriculture is directly and indirectly responsible for 30 to 50% of greenhouse gas emissions, coming from the use of nitrogen fertilizers and the loss of soil organic matter. By changing agricultural practices to those that regenerate soil organic carbon, we remove CO2 from the atmosphere and fix it as organic matter in the soil and reduce temperatures to pre-industrial levels. Simply put, we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term “regenerative organic agriculture.”  Within the first year, this is achieved through techniques such as longer rotations, catch-crops, cover crops, green manures, legumes, compost, organic mulches, perennials, agroforestry, permaculture, agro-ecological biodiversity, livestock on pasture through holistic grazing, biological farming and the use of biochar. We can reverse climate change, improve farm yields, increase water-holding capacity, build drought resilience, and reduce the use of toxic agrochemicals.

Pat Rasmussen is Coordinator of the local non-profit Edible Forest Gardens that has planted more than 80 edible forest gardens in yards, community gardens, schools, businesses, churches and neighborhood pathways in Olympia over the past eleven years.


Clean Building Policy: How to get to Zero-Net Carbon Buildings

Green Buildings & Cities 10:05 am-11:05 am

This session will be an update on “Clean Buildings” policy initiatives at the State and local level aligned with the Regional Climate Mitigation Plan and invites participants to get involved in advocacy efforts by Shift Zero, the Zero Net Carbon Buildings Alliance. Chris will define Zero Net Carbon and explain how it is different than Net-Zero Energy.  Policy updates will include: Shift Zero advocacy and the outlook for the Clean Buildings for Washington Act in the 2019 Legislature (reports on Appliance Standards, Commercial Building Performance Standard and Incentives, Residential Stretch Code bill, and PACER finance); and advocacy for City/County ZNC incentives using the Shift Zero Policy Toolkit (reports from Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia).  Finally, we will explore the intersection between Clean Building policy and Social Justice/equity issues.

Chris van Daalen is the Executive Director of Northwest EcoBuilding Guild – a decade-long partner to TCAT – and co-founder of Shift Zero. Chris works on the frontlines of changing building construction practices for a green future. 

Resources

Shift Zero Policy, presentation.pdf

Shift Zero, Zero Net Carbon Building Alliance website

Code Innovations Database website

Building Innovations Database website


What Makes a Green Building?

Green Buildings & Cities 11:20 am-12:35 pm

Lots of great technology will help make new homes use less energy, use it more efficiently, produce as much as they consume, and help integrate variable wind and solar into the grid. This panel presentation will look at some of the best technology available and on the horizon, to help us build better, longer-lasting, and smarter homes, such as green roofs, LEDs, heat pumps, smart thermostats, demand response, alt cement, heat recovery, energy storage, insulation, building automation, smart glass and district heat. Included are ideas of what you can do with your existing house, and what you need to pay attention to in buying new appliances and planning home improvements.

Jim Lazar is an economist with more than forty years experience in electric utility regulation, resource planning, and rate making.

Chris van Daalen is the Executive Director of Northwest EcoBuilding Guild – a decade-long partner to TCAT – and co-founder of Shift Zero. Chris works on the frontlines of changing building construction practices for a green future. 

Kirk Haffner is the owner of South Sound Solar, a 10-year veteran of the industry, and an advocate for supporting legislative, community and policy adoption of renewable energy. 

Randy Foster of the Artisan Group


Building an EcoDistrict in Downtown Olympia

Green Buildings & Cities 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

EcoDistricts are a way for urban neighborhoods to connect with one another to build Equity, Resiliency and Climate Responsiveness. Successful EcoDistricts have been developed all over the country and the world, including in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The City of Olympia, The Commons at Fertile Ground, and The Evergreen State College are partnering to help envision an EcoDistrict for Olympia. In this workshop, we will briefly share some ideas that have already been part of our EcoDistrict discussion. We will then have discussion prompts for participants around design elements such as equitable housing, energy autonomy at the neighborhood level, water management, community food systems, community arts, sustainable transportation, open spaces, parks and more. 

Karen Gaul (pictured) teaches Anthropology and Sustainability Studies at Evergreen.  She is working with students and community partners around developing an EcoDistrict in Downtown Olympia.

Lisa Parshley is a member of Olympia City Council


How Can We Build a Pathway to Lower Transportation Emissions?

Transportation 10:05 am-11:05 am

Our region has set greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals of 80 percent reduction by 2050 relative to 1990 emissions. As on-road transportation accounts for approximately 38 percent of Thurston County’s greenhouse gas emissions, implementing GHG-reduction actions relating to the transportation sector is key to achieving those goals. National standards, such as the Corporate Avenue Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are one piece of the puzzle, as are statewide actions such as adoption of a low-carbon fuel standard. Increasing market shares of electric vehicles is a strategy that will only be effective in Thurston County if our electricity supply is decarbonized. Meeting our vehicle miles traveled – reduction targets is another piece of the puzzle and can be achieved by a variety of actions, including changes in land use and change in travel demand management policies that will result in increased use of alternative transportation modes such as transit, vanpools, telework, bicycling, and walking. We will review some of the current practices and possible changes around land use and travel demand management.

Veena Tabbutt is the Deputy Director at Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC). Veena has been with the Council 19 years, and was the technical lead on the Council’s Sustainable Thurston project. 

Karen Parkhurst is the Planning and Policy Director at TRPC.  Karen has been with the Council 19 years, and is overseeing the Climate Mitigation Plan for Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Thurston County.


Electric Vehicles and the Phaseout of Gasoline: Making Good on the Promise

Transportation 11:20 am-12:35 pm

Electric vehicles (EVs) are functionally capable of replacing gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles in virtually all applications, but still represent only about 2% of new car sales in the U.S. This presentation will address the following questions:

  • What are the environmental risks and benefits of EVs?
  • What are the most important barriers to EV deployment?
  • What local, state, and national policies are most effective in phasing out gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles and replacing them with EVs?
  • How can the transition to EVs benefit disadvantaged communities?
  • What effect will accelerated deployment of EVs have on CO2 emissions, oil production, and oil companies?

Matthew Metz is Co-Executive Director of Coltura, a non-profit founded in 2014 with the mission of improving climate, health, and equity by accelerating the switch from gasoline vehicles to clean, zero-emission alternatives.


Bikeable / Walkable Olympia

Transportation 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

An action oriented workshop on the nuts and bolts of getting around by bike and on foot. Transportation is the source of half the greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels in our state. 8 million pounds of petroleum products drain into Puget Sound every year. Climate action and activism begins with changing our own habits. Happily, there are many additional benefits to active transportation, such as improved health and well-being, and saving money! In a non-judgmental and supportive way, we’ll explore perceived barriers and the possibilities available for changing our transportation habits.

Chris Hawkins is Community Engagement, Evidence and Partnerships Manager at Thurston County Public Health & Social Services, working with action teams as part of Thurston Thrives to increase opportunities in our region for residents to live healthy, active lives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Duncan Green, (pictured) Intercity Transit

Resources

Session Video on YouTube


Effects of Sea Level Rise on the Squaxin Island Tribe

Water 10:05 am-11:05 am

The Squaxin Island Tribe has developed an Environmental Systems Research Institute Esri Geographic Information System Story Map titledSea Level Rise in the South Salish Sea, which shares an assessment of risks that is intended to  lead the Tribe and the South Sound community to a better understanding of sea level rise’s potential impacts on natural and cultural resources. As you navigate from beginning to end of the story map you are immersed in the history of the People of the Water, our shellfish economy, the importance of tribal fisheries and the marine environment of the South Salish Sea. Gaining an  understanding of our people and way of life you’ll find yourself learning about sea level rise impacts and the science behind our analysis. The transitions from tribal traditions, onto risk management, all the way to future scenarios is a journey of tribal origins and a shared future. Anyone from any background will take something away from this web-based story map. 

Squaxin Island Tribal Member Candace Penn is the Tribes’ Climate Change Ecologist. She is currently completing a multi-year forage fish sampling project on Squaxin Island and in Oakland Bay in collaboration with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Candace designs maps and future modeling scenarios related to Climate Change based in Traditional Ecological Knowledge and with a focus on Tribal Resiliency. 

Brian McTeague is the Quantitative Services Manager for the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Natural Resources Department. Using GIS and other data management and analysis software, Brian provides information and analysis support to tribal staff and our partners in the areas of Water Quality, Salmon and Shellfish Management, Restoration Prioritization and Treaty Rights. Brian also leads the department’s Green Teamsolid waste reduction and recycling program.


We Agree: Water is Life

Water 11:20 am-12:35 pm

The League of Women Voters of Thurston County is in the process of reviewing and revising the water study it completed in 2008. A 5-part series educating the community is pointing at “Where is the Water?” seeking answers to the tough questions confronting us today.

DERT staff person Sue Patnude will give an update on Streamflow Restoration Chapter 90.94 RCW and the work currently underway in the Water Resources and Enhancement Committee led by the Department of Ecology.  

Sue Patnude (pictured) is the Executive Director of the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team.

Zena Hartung is founding member of Olympia Urban Water League and a board member of League of Women Voters of Thurston County


Restoring the Deschutes Estuary: Why it Makes Sense!

Water 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team staff will make the case for estuary restoration and invite a discussion on public health, protecting our environment, responding to climate change/sea level rise and economic benefits of an urban estuary.

Sue Patnude is the Executive Director of Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team


Climate Learning in K-12 Schools

Youth 10:05 am-11:05 am

Did you know that Washington State and Thurston County are taking off in the area of climate science learning in K-12 schools? Learn about the impact of climate science learning on students and teachers in our area, based on a program funded by NOAA to the Nisqually River Education Project and by the Washington Legislature to the Pacific Education Institute and many other local school and community partners across the state. This is the beginning of a climate solutions-oriented approach for our schools, students, families and communities and the role of youth and educators as leaders for the transition to a clean energy future, resilience in the face of climate destabilization and long-term sustainability. 

Abby Ruskey, US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

Sheila Wilson, Program Director, Nisqually River Education Project


Youth Activists Panel

Youth 11:20 am-12:35 pm

Sue from the King County Plant for the Plant will explain how middle school students are trained as Tree Ambassadors to lobby on behalf of trees and plant for Trees as carbon sinks. Kaylee and Emma are HS youth activists wanting to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint. One way to do so is by working with our local city legislation to fight climate change and being members of Olympia High School’s Climate Action Club! Currently, they are working with their club in preparation for talking with our council members. They need your support/action in this movement, because together we can all really can make a lasting difference. Rebecca is from The Evergreen State College and will explain the activism she is engaged in to try to stop climate change.

Sue Leander, Plant for the Planet (not pictured)

Emma Song and Kaylee Shen (pictured) are students at Olympia High School and lead their environmental club. 

Rebecca Canright (pictured) grew up on an organic farm in New Jersey and is passionate about protecting nature’s incredible species for generations to come. She is a student at The Evergreen State College.


Climate Change and the Courts

Youth 2:25 pm-3:25 pm

Have you heard of the Juniana v. US case being brought by Our Children’s Trust on behalf of kids for a liveable future, against the US government?  We will discuss updates in the case and outline different steps you can take in the PNW to support these brave kids. Topics will include the 9th circuit hearing in June in Portland, how to use art and science to mobilize in your own communities, and how to directly intervene into false claims and bunk climate science.

Andrea Rodgers is the lead attorney out of Oregon on the Children’s lawsuit against the US government.