Casco Bay belongs to everyone.
This is more than just a phrase to those of us who work at Friends of Casco Bay.
We work to improve and protect the health of this special place for everyone. We are committed to creating a culture and practices that integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our work.
To work towards that goal, we have been deepening our conversations with one another as a group and as individuals, about the intersections of environmentalism and social justice. This includes, in part, expanding our understanding about systemic racism, tyranny, and violence in our country and our community.
The inequities in our society cannot be separated from the climate crisis, a key focus of our work. Vulnerable and marginalized populations, including black people, people of color, indigenous people, people living in poverty, women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities have disproportionately experienced the brunt of pollution and the effects of climate change. These environmental injustices arise from inequalities and uneven power structures, including structural racism.
We stand in solidarity with the activists and organizations who are leading the call for justice and accountability. We are supporting efforts that recognize environmental justice and are aimed at ensuring equal access to clean waters. We oppose efforts that deny that right.
This is a long-overdue moment for communities to come together and change behaviors and systems. This includes listening and learning. This requires acting to ensure Casco Bay and its watershed are improved and protected with and for all people. We acknowledge that we need to expand our capacity to foster diverse viewpoints, and we commit to continuing our work on this.
We are not experts at confronting the depth of injustices experienced in our nation. We know we will miss the mark sometimes as we move toward more inclusive and equitable practices and culture. We invite you to keep us accountable by letting us know when we do. This will help us all learn and improve together.
Cathy, Jeff, Ivy, Mike, Sara, Sarah, and Will