ALL OF US have made a conscious decision to live on the Olympic Peninsula. We need only step outside to experience what makes our city and region so unique.
We are immersed in an environmental quality that to others can only be found in artwork and photographs. From our North Coast to the Olympic Mountains in our backyard, and the many precious streams and creeks that bisect Port Angeles, these are the unique natural features of our environment; the very assets we rely upon for local economic prosperity, education, recreation and joy.
On Earth Day 2023, we should reflect on the beauty of our environment and even more so, the importance of protecting it for future generations.
At the City of Port Angeles, we recognize that addressing climate change is essential to the sustainability of our community. That is why, through a robust climate resiliency planning initiative, the city has forged ahead to confront environmental issues and incorporate climate adaptation into our planning for the future.
In 2022, the city took bold action by adopting the first-ever Port Angeles Climate Resiliency Plan.
This plan, informed by community input, establishes specific actions that we can take to reduce our vulnerability and increase our resilience to sea level rise, drought, and other impacts of climate change. It shifts the city’s focus to projects that promote sustainability and helps us take a proactive approach to environmentally conscious living in a changing world.
The adoption of this plan marks an important first step in achieving climate resilience, but there is still much work to be done and the city cannot do it alone.
To achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, an ambitious goal identified in the plan, the city and our collective community must implement new strategies into all our future actions.
Critical to this effort, the city has begun the formal process of amending the Port Angeles Comprehensive Plan, the foundation of our city policy, to integrate climate resiliency strategies. This amendment process will soon include opportunities for community input, and we encourage residents and businesses to provide feedback.
Moving forward, we invite you to join us in living with climate resiliency in mind. It takes a partnership for the planet to make real progress, and it’s crucial that we work together to do our part. Some of the actions you can take at home include:
• Taking steps to conserve water and energy.
• Choosing locally and sustainably made products.
• Eliminating the use of toxic chemicals in yard care.
• Walking, cycling or utilizing public transit.
• Disposing of pet waste properly.
• Engaging neighbors and loved ones on how they too can live sustainably.
Contributing to climate resiliency is easy and the city is here to help. Please visit www.cityofpa.us/earthday or contact us to learn more about our climate resiliency, conservation and pollution prevention programs and the many incentives they provide.
This Earth Day, let us take a moment to appreciate the beauty and importance of our local environment. Let us also commit to taking action, both as individuals and as a community, to protect our natural resources and invest in our planet’s future.
By working together, we can achieve climate resiliency for future Port Angeles generations and create a city in which we can all thrive.
Nathan A. West is the city manager of Port Angeles.