Regional Initiatives and Reports


The Martha's Vineyard Commission, Emergency Managers and others are focused on regional solutions to the challenges that climate change brings: how to prepare for emergencies, how to respond to the impacts and how to reduce our contribution to this planetary crisis. This section tells what is currently happening and will include information about regional efforts and progress as it occurs.

The Vineyard Sustainable Energy Committee (VSEC), a group with membership from each of the towns’ energy committees, has put forward a non-binding resolution – 100% Renewable MV by 2040 – for consideration on each Town Meeting floor.  The resolution is on the warrant for the West Tisbury fall Town Meeting (October 6th, 4:00 at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs) and on the Aquinnah fall Town Meeting to be held in early November.  Passage of the resolution is an important step in our responding to the climate crisis before us.

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission Climate Action Task Force (CATF) is made up of MVC Commissioners and staff, along with Island leaders and professionals, and is working to develop mitigation and adaptation master plans for the Island. The CATF has two active subcommittees: an Energy Group and an Adaptation Master Plan Committee (AMPC).

  1. The Energy Group is focused on issues related to climate change mitigation. They have prepared a series of Energy Working Papers that provide island energy baseline information and initial strategies for meeting the 100% Renewable by 2040 goal.

2. The Adaptation Master Plan Committee (AMPC) is focused on island strategies for adapting to the impacts that climate change will bring and engaging the island community in this process.

      • In this 15-part series of essays, published in the Vineyard Gazette in 2011, Elizabeth Durkee dissects the causes and effects of climate change on various aspects of the Island, and issues a call to action to all who care about the future of Martha’s Vineyard.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional Emergency Managers Association meets monthly and has managers from each town and representation from the County, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Eversource, MEMA, and other related parties. They are concerned with island health issues, including coordination of the COVID-19 response; emergency response to storms- providing services and shelter- and emergency response to wildfire and other drought-related events.

Our Emergency Managers:

• Aquinnah: Gary Robinson,
• Chilmark: Tim Carroll,
• West Tisbury: Russell Hartenstine,
• Vineyard Haven: Christina Colarusso,
• Oak Bluffs: Erik Blake,
• Edgartown: Chief Alex Schaeffer,

  • Every five years the Martha’s Vineyard Commission works with the Emergency Managers to create a Hazard Mitigation Plan, which looks at various threats to our community and sets out priority actions to address those threats. Most are climate-related, from fire hazards to flood and storm hazards. The last Hazard Mitigation Plan for the island was completed in 2015, an updated plan is underway. There is lots of great information in this plan, both for the island as a whole and town by town.
  • A Drought and Wildfire Hazards Assessment and Mitigation report were prepared by the MV Commission in 2016. Further study of wildfire risk is currently underway, led by Chief Alex Schaeffer of Edgartown.

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