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People's Climate Marches Held Saturday in Tampa Bay

Wikipedia Commons
The People's Climate March in New York in 2014

Marches to raise awareness about the need to address climate change and rising sea levels will be held Saturday throughout the Tampa Bay area. It's part of a worldwide effort to urge action to curb greenhouse gases.

The first People's Climate March was held in 2014 in New York during the United Nations Climate Summit. Since then, events have branched out to dozens of countries. Locally, marches will be held in Tampa and St. Petersburg with bicycle rallies in Dade City, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Odessa and New Port Richey.

Jennifer Rubiello, state director for the advocacy group Environment Florida, said the Tampa march is being held to push Florida cities to follow St. Petersburg's lead in embracing renewable energy.

"We're going to be providing avenues for people to take action, like writing letters, making phone calls to our elected officials," she said. "Specifically, this Tampa People's Climate March is part of a larger effort to get Tampa to commit to moving to 100 percent renewable energy."

The Tampa march will begin at 10 a.m. in downtown's Lykes Gaslight Park, with a variety of speakers and art highlighting climate change impacts already affecting the Tampa Bay area.

Here's a post from their web site:

On April 29, we'll come together at Lykes Gaslight Park in support of Tampa committing to 100% clean and renewable energy. NOW’s the time for Tampa to act on climate! The Tampa Bay area is one of the most vulnerable places in the world regarding climate change. And as the third-largest city in the state, Tampa is in a unique position to push Florida forward on climate change adaptation and mitigation action. Tampa's People's Climate March will involve 1. A rally, 2. A march, 3. Sea level rise exhibits, and most importantly 4. Opportunities to take action!

To amplify the need for Tampa to commit to 100%, we'll rally in the park and listen to powerful speakers (TBA), including some local elected officials, and representatives of frontline communities that are already being affected by climate change.

After the rally, organizers will present an action training, directing folks to either grab a clipboard with petitions, or to head to phone banking stations and letter-writing stations (for letters to the editor and letters to elected officials). There will be thousands of people downtown for multiple big events that day, so we are using this opportunity to take action and build power!

After the training, we will march down to MacDill Park on the Riverwalk to check out sea level rise exhibits that will be set up to demonstrate the rate of rise here in our bay. Folks can launch with petitions from MacDill and return around 1pm!

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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