Goshen hosting statewide climate summit focusing on floodwater
GOSHEN, Ind.—Following the historic flooding northern Indiana saw in 2018, Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman offered to host the fourth annual Climate Leadership Summit.
This year’s summit on September 12, which is put on by nonprofit Earth Charter Indiana, will focus on flooding and storm water infrastructure.
Local organizer and environmental educator Paul Steury says that Goshen is the perfect backdrop for such an event, with sustainability projects happening throughout the city.
“We’re talking about how to deal with excess water as municipalities, so to have mayors and city officials hear about this will be a great incentive for other cities to think about how to deal with flooding,” Steury, a former Goshen College professor, said.
Mayors confirmed to be participating in the event represent cities such as Angola, Logansport, Nappanee, and Plymouth. All mayors in attendance will participate in a round-table discussion on climate change. Many other Indiana municipalities will send delegates to participate in the summit.
Steury says that the issue of flooding in Indiana cities and towns is pressing; he says that a big impact of climate change is the increase in intense rainfall.
“We are having these five hundred year floods more than once every five hundred years. We’re actually having them annually if not every other year,” Steury said.
Key points of discussion set for the day include sustainable development codes, flood resilient strategies, youth action, urban canopy, and the use of municipal public policy case studies.
Author and professor, Dr. David Orr from Oberlin College, will serve as the summit’s keynote speaker and will discuss his work in combating climate change as part of the Oberlin Project.
The morning session of the summit will take place at Goshen College’s church-chapel on September 12 from 8:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. and is open to the public.
The afternoon breakout sessions are closed to registered participants.
Local high school students will also participate in the summit’s climate conversations, highlighting the resolution passed by Goshen’s Youth Caucus earlier this year to create a 45% tree canopy by 2045.
“If we want to think about our children and grandchildren, we need to start thinking not just today, not just tomorrow, not just next year, we need to start thinking decades if not centuries into the future,” Steury said.