Superintendent George E. Price, Jr. has announced that Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS) was officially accepted by the Washington Office into the National Park Service’s Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) Program. As climate change impacts parks across the country, the Climate Friendly Parks Program was initiated in order to incorporate sustainable practices in the parks’ operations. To be a part of this Program, CCNS completed a Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory to calculate the park’s baseline emissions in 2007 as well as an Action Plan to detail the next steps the park will take to reduce those emissions by 2020. The first step is a climate-friendly launch of the Action Plan: rather than producing paper copies of the document, CCNS has posted the Action Plan to its new CFP webpage, at www.nps.gov/caco/parkmgmt/climate-friendly-parks-program-at-cape-cod-national-seashore.htm.
“We are excited to share our progress to date and our planned actions in a sustainable way through the “green” or virtual launch of this new webpage,” stated Erin Der-McLeod, Seashore Planning Assistant. “We worked hard to document our greenhouse gas emissions, translate those carbon emissions into meaningful units that the public can understand, and develop a range of actions, from simple behavioral changes to larger projects requiring additional funding.” Some examples of the actions outlined in the plan include encouraging park staff to turn off their computer monitors while not in use and improving bicycle infrastructure for the use of park visitors and the local community.
Overall, CCNS has committed to reducing its total emissions by 20% from the 2007 baseline levels by 2020. Total emissions include those from park operations, concessionaries, and visitors. In terms of its own park operations, CCNS has pledged to reduce energy emissions by 25%, transportation emissions by 20%, and waste emissions by 10%. Combined, these percentages represent a reduction of 282 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2E), which is approximately equivalent to the annual emissions from 54 passenger cars.