Nature’s Design: Land, Water, and Climate Change in Boston
Robert Zimmerman, Jr.
This free-for-members event is made possible with support from the William Orville Thomson Endowment, which is generously funded by Athenæum Proprietor Peter Thomson.
We often allow ourselves to be lulled into the notion that the real impacts of climate change will come with sea level rise sometime much later in this century. The truth is that the significant changes of climate are upon us, and the likelihood that we will be hit by catastrophic precipitation-based flooding increases annually. The expectation is that we will suffer flooding like Pensacola, Florida; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Columbia, South Carolina; and Houston, Texas sooner than later, and very likely in the coming twenty years. Yet there are things we can do now to mitigate and even eliminate any impacts, the necessary changes can largely pay for themselves, and those changes would dramatically improve the appeal and livability of our city and region. Join Bob Zimmerman, former executive director of the Charles River Watershed Association, for an in-depth evaluation of our options.
Robert Zimmerman, Jr., served as executive director of the Charles River Watershed Association from 1990 to 2018. Founded in 1965, CRWA is a private nonprofit environmental research and advocacy organization using science and the law to protect and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. During his tenure, CRWA became a leading authority on the science of water in urban watersheds, and developed programs addressing stormwater pollution, water quality, low instream flow, nutrient loading, habitat protection and restoration, and sustainable development. Today, US EPA considers the Charles the cleanest urban river in the nation. In his recent work, Zimmerman has focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation in Boston’s urban coastal environment.
Prior to working at CRWA, he co-founded and was the headmaster of the National Sports Academy at Lake Placid, a boarding school offering a preparatory curriculum and training program for winter sports athletes. He has an MA in English, and a BA in English and history from Central Michigan University. Zimmerman was born in Los Angeles, California, but grew up in Midland, Michigan, where his father was a chemist for the Dow Chemical Company.
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