History & Mission
The climate crisis is bearing down on our planet — imperiling lives, health, economy, environment, and entire ways of life — and the Cape & Islands region of Massachusetts is exceptionally vulnerable. With increasing temperatures, ocean warming and acidification, sea level rise, intensified storms and damage, and coastal erosion and flooding, action to address this crisis is imperative.
The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to reduce ways in which the Cape & Islands region contributes to climate change and to protect our region from its potentially devastating impacts. Our goals are to broaden understanding, deepen partnerships, accelerate programs, and inspire individual and collective action to counter the climate crisis. We accomplish these goals through communication, collaboration, advocacy, and activism.
To realize a resilient, thriving, and sustainable Cape & Islands that moves our region away from reliance on fossil fuels, embraces energy conservation and clean energy, fosters innovative climate solutions, and prevents, minimizes, and adapts to unavoidable impacts of climate change in a manner that is resilient, equitable and environmentally sustainable.
Understanding the climate crisis disproportionately impacts people of color and other underserved communities, we are committed to solving the climate crisis by building a more just, inclusive, and equitable region. We value the voices and contributions of diverse races, nationalities, religions, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and/or abilities, and seek solutions to the climate crisis that exemplify and advance real diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
Recognizing that the climate crisis demands we take urgent action to fulfill multiple goals, we consistently search for opportunities to create synergies to prevent, resist and protect against the impacts of climate change. We believe that nature-based solutions are among the most effective approaches to climate protection and understand that pursuing these solutions also enhances and conserves the fragile ecosystems that surround us, and upon which our sustained quality of life in this place depends.
The President of the Board of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (the Collaborative) is Dorothy Savarese. Savarese is Executive Chair of Cape Cod 5, recognized as a leading bank and top employer, a position she has held since 2005. She recently stepped down from her position as CEO after 17 years leading the community bank, which has grown to more than $5 billion in assets with 550 employees in 26 locations. Savarese recognized that the vitality of the communities served by Cape Cod 5 were directly tied to the health of the fragile and beautiful environment of the region. During her tenure, she formalized the integration of environmental stewardship into each of the “5 Ways” the Bank serves its customers and communities, and expanded it to include mitigating and adapting to climate change. Some highlights of the Bank’s efforts include the introduction of an innovative solar loan program and the construction of an 80,000 square foot LEED Gold Certified headquarters completed in 2020.
Savarese extends her commitment to combating climate change and building resiliency to her volunteer and community activities, in addition to her service to the Collaborative. She was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to the Clean Heat Commission. She joined the Board of the Alliance for Business Leadership and with them traveled to Denmark in June 2022 to learn more about the country’s clean energy transformation. Just recently, Savarese was appointed by Governor-Elect Maura Healey to the Climate Readiness, Resiliency and Adaptation transition policy committee.
Savarese has also been recognized for her efforts in the banking industry, being named to the list of 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker Magazine for the 11th consecutive year, was the chair of both the American Bankers Association and the Massachusetts Bankers Association and has been named to committees advising the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the FDIC. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Suffolk University and recently joined the Board of Trustees. In addition, she has served on a number of local boards serving the region and has received numerous awards and recognitions.
Executive Director of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative
Inspired by COP21 (aka the Paris Climate Accord) of 2015, Rich Delaney co-founded the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative in 2016. The Climate Collaborative is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to reduce the Cape & Islands region’s contributions to climate change and protect our region from its potentially devastating impacts. Its leadership team includes a coalition of business, environmental, energy, building, transportation, conservation, policy, housing, faith, and civic leaders while its audience comprises over 3,000 concerned individuals from the Cape & Islands and the Commonwealth.
Delaney is well known for his environmental work spanning 45 years, including 14 years as President and CEO of the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown where he continues to serve as part-time Senior Advisor and interim Director of the Marine Policy Department.
Previously, Delaney founded the Urban Harbors Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston; served as Assistant Secretary of Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts; and was National Chair of the Coastal States Organization in Washington DC. Delaney has consulted to governments in over 20 countries regarding climate change, coastal and ocean management, capacity building, institutional development, and public outreach, and participated in numerous international conferences.
Coordinator, Chatham Climate Action Network
With a background in environmental law, education, and consulting, Janet Williams brings a unique set of experiences and skills to the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative. She spent a dozen years as an environmental enforcement attorney with the EPA, five years providing legal counsel to commercial real estate developers and lenders, and several years building and teaching social science education programs at the secondary level. She discovered a passion for and commitment to fighting climate change while volunteering as a pro bono legal researcher with the Climate Justice Programme in London in 2005. She’s been in the fight ever since. And she’s not giving up.
Other: Chair, Chatham Conservation Commission; Coordinator, Chatham Climate Action Network; Secretary, Pleasant Bay Community Boating; Member: Conservation Law Foundation
Janet has a BA from Boston College, Teaching Certification from Northeastern University and JD from Villanova University School of Law and is a LEED Accredited Green Associate.
Ms. Downey is the Administrator for the Cape Light Compact. Prior to serving as the full-time Cape Light Compact Administrator, Maggie served as both the Assistant County Administrator and Compact Administrator for 17 years. The Cape Light Compact service territory consists of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, approximately 205,000 year-round residents. The Cape Light Compact is the first municipal aggregator in Massachusetts. Ms. Downey is responsible for management and direction of the Cape Light Compact’s electric power supply aggregation program and energy efficiency programs. She has previously represented the Cape Light Compact on its sister organization, the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative, which is has installed 49MW of distributed renewable energy projects. Ms. Downey has been working on energy related issues for over 20 years. Prior to joining Barnstable County in 1994, she served as the SEPA/Public Affairs Manager for the City of Issaquah, Washington. Maggie earned her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington at Seattle and holds a Graduate Certificate in Management from Harvard University Extension School.
Executive Director, Cape Light Compact
Chair, 350 Cape Cod
Pleasant Bay Community Boating, Science Program Advisor
Sarah is the Science Program Director at Pleasant Bay Community Boating in East Harwich, MA. Her education includes: BS. Earth and Marine Science at the University of California Santa Cruz; PhD. Coastal Oceanography at Stony Brook University, “Bioavailability of sediment-bound metals to two marine bivalves “; Postdoctoral and Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, collaboration with the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), France. Sarah’s work experience: Eight years with the US Geological Survey, Branch of Marine Geology, ship-board physical science technician, navigator, and public education outreach; Five years teaching high school sciences, MA teaching certificate in chemistry; Town of Chatham, water quality scientist. Sarah joined Pleasant Bay Community Boating In 2015 to build science and stewardship programs and work side-by-side with those dedicated to making community sailing, hands-on marine education and environmental stewardship accessible to all.
Other: I come from a family of New England scientists and conservationists but I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area In the 1960 and ‘70s. Our family regularly backpacked in the Sierra Nevadas and learned to scuba dive in Monterey Bay. Surrounded by environmental activists, early on I understood the destructive impact humans have on the earth. A huge step toward restoring our planet requires us to greatly reduce our carbon footprint. My interest is in educating and inspiring the next generation to create a Net Zero world and to help to explain the complex consequence of excess greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere and oceans.
Director of Science Programs, Pleasant Bay Community Boating
Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Asst. Director
Don Keeran is assistant director of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. He focuses extensively on environmental policy and advocacy for the organization, and acts as APCC’s liaison for most state and federal environmental legislative and policy issues. Don works on the state, regional and local levels on growth management initiatives, promoting the adoption of land use and planning policies that advance smart growth, natural resource protection and climate change. He is responsible for developing many of APCC’s positions on topical environmental issues, including proposals for regional development projects and other projects that could impact the Cape’s natural resources and quality of life. Don serves on a variety of boards and committees focused on issues such as climate change, land use planning, water quality and open space preservation. He has been a resident of Brewster since 1997.
Assistant Director, Association to Preserve Cape Cod
Executive Director, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Massachusetts Community Liason, Vineyard Wind
Community Organizer and Youth Mentor
Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod
Executive Director, Cape Cod Commission
Executive Director, Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts
Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority
Executive Director, Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative
Provinctown Land Trust/New School
Executive Officer, Homebuilders and Remodelers of Cape Cod
Park Planner, Cape Cod National Seashore
Co-Chair, Faith Communities Environmental Network
Executive Director, J.F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
Woodwell Climate Research Center
Cape Cod 5
Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts
Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts
Cape Cod Commission
Cape Cod Commission
Cape Cod Commission