Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

2024 Cape Cod Climate Ambassador Program concludes

Students prepared to address the challenges of climate change

Thirteen Cape Cod high school students are now better prepared to combat climate change after completing the Cape Cod Commission’s Climate Ambassador Program, an initiative to educate, engage, and empower young people on Cape Cod to work together to address the challenges of climate change.

Students began their journey in late January, meeting inside a climate-friendly building at the Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Cummaquid. Students got a Climate 101 lesson from Ellen Mecray, Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and heard about climate policy from State Representative Dylan Fernandes.

“I learned a lot from our speakers, especially around sustainability and what you can do for our Earth,” said Nauset Regional High School freshman Edie Speigel.

Subsequent sessions included information on the impacts of climate change on Cape Cod, an inspiring talk covering climate policy and advocacy from former State Senator and Cape Air founder Dan Wolf and Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative president and former Cape Cod Five CEO Dorothy Savarese, and an interactive session focused on climate equity. Students also learned about and discussed sustainability and engagement and outreach around climate-related issues.

“It was surprising to learn how much impact we as teenagers can have within our community and within politics,” said Cassie Donovan, a sophomore at Sturgis East.

The program concluded with final project presentations at the Cape Cod Commission office in Barnstable Village. Student projects reflected their interests and demonstrated their readiness to address issues, focusing on sustainable food systems, the impacts of offshore wind, the use of biofuels and the potential of seaweed as a biofuel, using salt-tolerant native vegetation to stabilize dunes on the outer Cape, and improving and creating alternative modes of transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“[The program] has given a good way of thinking about the issue, but also applying it,” said Sturgis East senior Noah Sheasley. “A big takeaway from this is that your voice really does matter, and you genuinely feel like an ambassador for the youth.”

The Cape Cod Commission created the Climate Ambassador Program in 2021 as a way to help students better understand climate change, learn how to communicate the issues effectively and learn about actions they can take individually and collectively to bring about change.

The 2024 cohort consisted of students from Falmouth High School, Nauset Regional High School, Monomoy Regional High School, Upper Cape Regional Technical High School, Cape Cod Academy, and Sturgis Charter Public School East.

Search Circle Icon Search Icon Document Icon Video Icon PDF Icon CSV/XLS Icon