Registration is requested. All programs start at 7 p.m. in the Aquarium’s Simons IMAX® Theatre unless otherwise noted. Programs last approximately one hour. Most lectures are recorded and available for viewing on the lecture series archive page.

Fall 2017 Lectures

Austin Blackmon Aquarium lecturer

A Carbon-Free and Climate-Ready Boston

Tuesday, November 28

Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston

Since 1991, Boston has experienced 21 events that triggered federal or state disaster declarations. For example, in 2011, Hurricane Irene caused downed trees and power outages across the city. In 2012, while Boston was spared the most devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy due to the storm missing Boston’s high tide by five hours, the city still experienced high winds and coastal flooding. As the climate changes, the likelihood of coastal and riverine flooding—as well as other hazards, like stormwater flooding and extreme heat—will increase.
The challenges from climate change are substantial and complex but can be addressed through bold and creative actions that support the city’s vitality and livability.
Boston can thrive in the coming decades if it takes action to adapt its people, its neighborhoods, and its economic and cultural assets, starting now. This work will be difficult, contentious, and complex. But if done well, it will not only create a resilient, climate-ready Boston, it will also dramatically improve the city and quality of life for all its residents.

Protecting Stellwagen Bank: A History of the Sanctuary – 25 Years and Moving Forward

Thursday, November 30

Richard Delaney (pictured at left), President and CEO of the Center for Coastal Studies, and Ben Haskell, Acting Superintendent of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

 

More than 25 years ago, threats to an underwater bank at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay abounded. Construction teams considered the sand and gravel fair game for the Big Dig, and a developer posited a plan for a casino complex on an oil-rig-like platform.  Luckily, whales, fish, and the backing of thousands of whale watchers, students, fishermen, and environmentalists sank those ideas. The productive region around Stellwagen Bank was designated a national marine sanctuary in 1992. Rich Delaney, President and CEO of the Center for Coastal Studies (which nominated Stellwagen Bank for sanctuary status), had served as director of the Mass. Coastal Zone Management Office during the process to create a sanctuary. Ben Haskell, the sanctuary’s acting superintendent, leads a team of researchers and educators who work to understand and protect this special place. They will provide a retrospective of the first 25 years of New England’s only national marine sanctuary and a vision for the next 25 years.