I feel deeply committed to serve as a devoted caretaker of this amazing place known as Island County, and having lived on Whidbey Island and spent the last nine years working intimately with the Board of Island County Commissioners, I wish to continue the forward movement of both sense and compassion established by Helen Price-Johnson and other community leaders.

- Melanie Bacon

Island County Climate Action Plan

As important as it is for the County to focus on environmental issues—to implement initiatives to keep our water clean and our forests protected, to recycle, to educate young people on growing and consuming local foods, and so on—those critical topics don’t address the most important issue, which is the reality of climate change. 

And when you talk with people, the focus from all sides is still primarily aimed at prevention, in particular on lowering our carbon footprint. While this is necessary and a great idea, it won’t be sufficient. It's like balancing your checkbook when you are deeply in debt. You do have to first control your spending, but you still have to find a way to pay off that debt.

Sea levels have already risen a foot over the past 100 years, they will continue to rise with another foot projected within the next 30 years and 2-3 feet by 2100. We are an entire county surrounded by shoreline: harbors, beaches, estuaries and bluffs. As the seas rise low lying areas will flood, bluff erosion will increase and habitats will fail or change behavior. There will be further impacts to property and services. 

Island County must make an inventory of properties, resources and services that will be impacted by climate change over the next 25 years, and develop and implement a climate action plan to mitigate those impacts. This plan must become part of our county mission and influence every action we take as a government.

Climate change is the existential issue of our time, and I believe it is the most important issue in human history. I am deeply committed to passing a climate action plan when I am county commissioner.

November 30, 2019: I marched in the climate protest march in Freeland, Washington. I am proud of the students who organized this, and the citizens who participated.

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