POTTSTOWN >> “The oceans are rising and so are we.”

That was just one of the many signs that could be seen Saturday as hundreds of people made their way down High Street for the Pottstown Climate March.

The march was aimed at several things including supporting solutions to global warming; the right to clean air, water, and land; sustaining healthy communities; preservation of the natural landscape; investment in sustainable technologies; and focus on environmental education.

The Pottstown Climate March was one of about 300 other marches around the country including a primary march in Washington, D.C. Organizers say they are upset with President Trump’s environmental policies.

“When the announcement came out about the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., there was also an effort to launch sister marches throughout the country,” said Larry Cohen, who organized the Pottstown event along with his wife, Marla Hexter. “We decided to have one here locally. Pottstown seemed to be a logical place to have one. It’s a nice wide street with a wide sidewalk. There’s a lot of interest because we’re far enough from Philadelphia so that people aren’t going to go to center city.”

By 1 p.m., the march’s scheduled starting time, over 100 people had gathered outside The Hill School on High Street where it was set to begin. After only a few minutes longer, the crowd continued to grow. Activists with homemade signs and specially designed T-shirts showed up to have their voices heard and help bring awareness about the need for environmental protections.

“We want to demonstrate our passion about the environment and send a message to policy makers that we care about the environment including, of course, global warming,” Cohen added. “We also want to raise awareness about environmentally benign technologies, using renewable energy, things like that.”

As the march began, hundreds of participants raised their signs and made their way down High Street toward the ending destination in Riverfront Park, each with their own reasons for participating.

“Where I live sustainable agriculture is a huge thing in terms of things like going green on campus,” explained Louisy Thompson, 29, of Pennsburg on why it was important for her to be there. Thompson, a teacher at The Perkiomen School, brought about nine of her students with her Saturday to assist with and participate in the march.

“For me, being here and seeing the kids getting involved with the community means a lot in terms of them going outside their bubble of a boarding school and understanding some of the larger issues that are taking place. They’re understanding what is going on in Washington, D.C., and trying to be part of a community movement in something that they’re passionate about. So for me, seeing students coming with me to be a part of this is just invaluable,” said Thompson.

Sister marches nearby included a climate march in West Chester at Market and High streets and the Philly People’s Climate March at City Hall. The hundreds of marches coincided with President Trump’s 100th day in office and were meant to demonstrate opposition to the rollback of environmental protections. Additionally, activists hoped to illustrate that environmental protection is an issue that should unite people toward a common goal.

“We’re trying to promote solar and wind and recycling and all these other issues,” said Cohen. “It’s think global, act local. So it’s about what we can do to change our behavior and sending a message to Washington and Harrisburg about what they can do to listen to our voice.”

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