Teams work on cleaning along Charles River for Earth Day 2022

By Mary Saladna

TRANSCRIPT: You know the Charles River is the lifebud of Boston, it long as been, so keeping it healthy is a priority. But so is dealing with climate change and how that impacts our health. We’re seeing an uptick in people who want to get involved and give back and that’s really encouraging and inspiring to call it a silver lining of a very dark cloud. But since the pandemic, people are gathering more outside and appreciating our waterways and green spaces. For the Charles River Conservancy, that is translated into their biggest Earth Day volunteer effort ever.

“We have 700 participants registered to help us out between and today and tomorrow to pick up track along the river.” The health of the Charles is dramatically better today than it was decades ago thanks to advocacy and investment, but there’s still more work to do. “We do still have issues of pollution going into the river, we have issues of trach going into the river, which is why we have so many people here today. We have new and evolving challenges with climate change.”

In Boston, climate change has meant rising water, but also hotter summers. The Earth Day focus in Chinatown was on heat resilience.

“This is one of the most impactful ways that we can make a difference right now for residents facing risks from climate change.” Mayor Wu says one of the hottest spots in the city every summer is Chinatown. She and her team announced some immediate and long-term steps to help city residents stay cool from pop-up cooling kits for summer events to heat resistant bus stops. “And we know that the heat impacts everyone, but it does not impact everyone equally.”