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Workshop focuses on climate change impacts in historic Salem

September 12, 2021 GMT

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts city known for its colonial era witch trials is launching a workshop this week focused on the risk of climate change to its cultural and historic sites.

Salem’s “ Keeping History Above Water ” runs from Monday to Tuesday and will examine ways to adapt to rising seas, increased coastal flooding and other consequences of climate change.

The free, virtual workshop includes a keynote address by Erin Minnigan of the Preservation Society of Charleston, South Carolina on strategies employed in that community to protect local historical and cultural sites.

Barbara Warren, executive director of Salem Sound Coastwatch, will also lead live-streamed walking tours examining “Salem’s Industrial Heritage Along a Changing Shoreline” and “Colonial Maritime Sites and Rising Tides.”

The two-day event is part of a national initiative from the Rhode Island-based Newport Restoration Foundation. It has hosted similar conferences in Nantucket, Massachusetts, Palo Alto, Calif. and St. Augustine, Florida in recent years.

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A climate change report released last year by the Trustees, a major Massachusetts conservation group, said more than 600 buildings along the state’s North Shore, where Salem is located, could experience daily tidal flooding by 2030, and as many as 3,100 by 2070 as sea levels rise.