page last updated 7-25-2018
Pájaro Valley Climate Action
The Pajaro Valley Climate Action organization and its project: Regeneration/Regeneración: Responding to Climate Change Together is IF's newest grantee.
The commitment of Regeneración to justice and inclusion is attracting people throughout the Pajaro Valley to engage in conversation and participate in projects designed to help our community move together toward a resilient carbon free future
The project helps the Pajaro Valley (PV) community adapt and flourish as the climate changes by advocating for a fair economy, planning for a healthy ecosystem, and guiding the community to a sustainable way of life.
On May 3, Regeneración presented the results of its Community Environmental Survey at a bilingual event in Watsonville. Bill Cane and Linda Wallace attended on behalf of IF. The study identified the effects of climate change on Watsonville residents and revealed its disproportionate impact on local farmworkers. The study also identified ways the local effects of climate change can be reduced. Concerns identified by the residents taking the survey ranged from pesticides and poisons to car exhaust. Survey respondents favored greater access to organic agriculture and less polluting forms of transportation, including rail and bike, along with clean energy as ways to reduce the impacts of pesticides and pollution from car exhaust.
One of the most potent presentations of the evening was given by women working in agriculture who testified about how climate change affected their health and their livelihood. The women told the audience how the
increasingly hotter weather causes workers to suffer: a number faint in the fields; many have to start work very early in the morning to avoid the heat and are sent home when temperatures exceed 95 degrees (a legal requirement).
The plastic-roofed greenhouses where berries are grown create even hotter (by about 10 degrees) and more difficult conditions for workers. Being sent home means workers (who already have very low incomes) earn less, which in turn affects their ability to feed, clothe and house their families. Starting work earlier can create childcare issues which in turn can increase monthly expenses.
Heavy winter rain, also associated with climate change, causes its own suffering. Workers have to work in mud that leaves them cold and wet with reduced resistance to illness. When heavy rains continue for
extended periods of time, as they did in the winter of 2016/2017, work in the fields becomes impossible and workers may be unemployed for weeks at a time reducing their already low incomes.
Regeneration keeps contacting people, asking them how climate change affects them, and what solutions they envision. Its grassroots method of interviewing of people not only gets at what is really hurting people, but also draws more and more people into the search for solutions.
The findings will guide the next projects that Climate Action will undertake. The project needs funds to analyze and publicize the results of the survey and to fund staff salaries.
To learn more about this group, please go to their website at: http://www.regenerationpajarovalley.org/