Peter B. Lord Public Seminar: Building a Resilient New England Economy

Portsmouth Wind Turbine

How will environmental policy and management decisions fuel the future?

June 25, 2015, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment
The Providence Journal
75 Fountain Street, 4th Floor
Providence, RI

View Jeff Payne Presentation

As Rhode Island works to compete in the global economy, the state faces a challenging combination of threats and opportunities posed by environmental change. Rhode Island is leading the region and the nation in offshore wind energy development, an advantage that could result in coveted jobs in specialty manufacturing and skilled labor.  As construction of wind farms begins off the Ocean State’s shores and new environmental challenges emerge, new policies are under discussion to stimulate economic growth while protecting the environment, infrastructure, and public safety.

An integrated approach toward environmental protection has become a greater focus for local and state governments throughout New England as they update their economic development strategies to respond to global change. Rhode Island’s state leadership signaled support for climate research and innovation as a potential economic driver in its 2014 Economic Development Plan: Actions for Economic Development in Rhode Island.  The report notes the importance of “…industry partners to plan for how best to adapt to a changing climate or recover from disaster…,” and the equal need “…to identify opportunities for using Rhode Island as a test bed for developing, and then exporting, new technologies.” Other states throughout New England are seeking similar opportunities for economic development and partnerships.

As part of the Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment, the June 25th lecture and panel discussion explored the interdependencies between a strong economy, innovative policy, and a healthy environment at a public seminar held in partnership with The Providence Journal. The seminar featured a keynote lecture by Dr. Jeff Payne, acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management. Following the lecture, Dr. Payne joined Grover Fugate, executive director of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council and Peyton Fleming, senior program director for strategic communicates at Ceres, for a panel discussion about effective local, state, and regional policy approaches, including questions from the audience.

The seminar was free and open to the public.

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