ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Two North Country residents are helping to amplify the voices fighting against the climate crisis. 

Blake Lavia and Tzintzum Aguilar-Izzo have spent the past year organizing the North Country Art Land and Environmental Summit which kicks off the second week of September. The two have coordinated regional scientists, policymakers, artists and activists to speak throughout the month.

Their goal, to amplify the overarching message that “the climate crisis is present, and the climate crisis is here,” hoping to raise awareness and inspire the North Country to implement positive change.

The summit is only one of the projects the two have worked on. Aguilar-Izzo being an alumni of St. Lawrence University, and Blake of SUNY Potsdam, have spent time documenting and understanding how the climate crisis impacts the North Country. More specifically, the St. Lawrence Watershed.

But their reach has not been limited to the region, the team has traveled all over the world to document positive change in the environmental movement. Both emphasize the importance of global change starting on a local scale, the inspiration for the summit.

The month-long summit will discuss sustainable and regenerative solutions for the climate crisis through topics such as rivers, water and life, food sovereignty, environmental justice and the future of the St. Lawrence Watershed.

With hopes that the summit will spark local change and unite silenced voices, both Lavia and Aguilar-Izzo hope this will be the beginning of further awareness and action towards the climate crisis in the North Country.

The North Country Art Land and Environment Summit kicks off September 9 and will be held virtually every Wednesday of September at 6:30 p.m., with a closing ceremony on October 2 featuring clips of their recent documentary film.

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