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Sea Change: Addressing Climate Change on Lake Superior

Posted on May 18, 2017 – 7:52 pm

The Portage Lake District Library will host Mark and Katya Gordon, their daughters, and the crew of their custom built 40 ft. steel sailboat, the Amicus II, for an evening learning about climate change on Lake Superior. This event will take place on Monday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m.


The Gordons will share the story of their liveaboard sailing experiences and discuss climate science as it relates to the changing eco-systems of Lake Superior and its surrounding coasts. They will also suggest climate solutions including carbon pricing.


The public is invited to go on board for a tour of the Amicus II on Tuesday, May 23, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The sailboat will be docked at the Houghton public docks.


The Gordons have been taking youth and young adults sailing with them on voyages lasting from four days to three months since 2010. Students experience the immensity and wildness of Lake Superior while they study, collect, and record data to support climate change research on the lake. Some of the projects students will do in 2017 include record water temperature and clarity, record and collect arctic “disjunct” plants, document plastic “microbeads,” and master celestial navigation.


Mark Gordon has been a licensed Captain for more than 27 years and currently holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Masters License with offshore sailing endorsement. He also has been a licensed EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) for over 25 years. He has spent over 1000 days leading wilderness trips with groups of all ages and has directed three wilderness programs. He has sailed over 20,000 miles on the Great Lakes and on the Atlantic Ocean.


Katya Gordon has over 15 years experience leading canoeing, backpacking, and snowshoeing expeditions all over North America for adolescents and adults of all ages and abilities.


Following the Gordon’s presentation, members of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby will join the discussion about climate change. Citizen’s Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. They train and support volunteers to engage elected officials, the media, and the public in order to generate the political will necessary for passage of their Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal.


Refreshments will be served and Katya Gordon’s book, “Big Waves, Small Boat, Two Kids: A Family Sailing Adventure,” will be for sale.


For more information, please call the library at 482-4570.

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