The South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo), a state-of-the-art facility nestled within the Long Pond Greenbelt system in Bridgehampton, will hold its inaugural Climate Change Forum & Benefit, “Climate Change: What It Means for the East End,” on June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event’s panel will feature seven renowned environmental leaders, including Dr. Robert Stein, Peter Boyd, environmental activists Michael Gerrard, Carl Safina, and Jack Rivkin, as well as Assemblymen Fred Thiele and Steven Englebright.
The forum will focus on creative solutions relating to global climate change impacts on the East End’s marine environment, mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation. “We are hoping that attendees will become aware that climate change has potential damaging effects on our health, ecosystems, property and economy,” says Frank Quevedo, Executive Director of the museum. “This event will inform attendees—based on expert opinions—how we can adapt and deal with climate change challenges. Now is the time to address these challenges before it’s too late. SoFo is very excited to host this groundbreaking event focusing on the important topic of climate change,” Quevedo says.
“Sea level rise and intensified storms give us with houses in our area cause for pause,” says Quevedo. Whether we barricade ourselves or stage a managed retreat to higher ground, the sea isn’t what it used to be. Neither is the future. What we do will come down to money and policies. But first we need the best information on what might happen, and likelihoods of it happening, so we can plan contingencies and ‘what if’ scenarios.”
The South Fork Natural History Museum’s mission is to promote interest in, advance knowledge of, and create appreciation for the natural habitat, particularly the East End of Long Island. “The East End of Long Island is the most beautiful place on Earth,” says Quevedo. It offers a diversity of natural habitats such as the Atlantic Ocean, Peconic Estuary, Coastal Plain Ponds, Vernal Ponds, Oak Forests, Pine Barrens and Grasslands. All of these habitats have their own unique communities resulting in an abundance of varied wildlife.” With a focus on the future of Long Island’s natural habitat, the funds from the Climate Change Forum & Benefit will support new climate change programming that SoFo will launch this fall.
Currently the South Fork Natural History Museum provides a range of educational programs including nature walks and events for all ages. All walks are led by environmental specialists and include both indoor and outdoor activities utilizing SoFo’s facilities while also taking advantage of its prime location on the Long Pond Greenbelt, a protected area that stretches from Bridgehampton to Sag Harbor. Speaking about the museum’s belief, Quevedo commented, “It is SoFo’s mission to connect children and adults to these habitats and have people discover the wonders that lie within. We are committed to teaching everyone to be responsible caretakers as we strive to preserve our ecosystems. This truly is a remarkable place that needs to be protected forever.”
In addition to a cocktail reception and panel, guests have the opportunity to purchase a VIP event ticket, which will include a post-event dinner hosted by SoFo Board President Andy Sabin. Featured speakers and special guests will also be in attendance.
For general admission and VIP tickets, contact the South Fork Natural History Museum, 377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, 631-537-9735, [email protected].