A Climate Resilience Forum

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The State of Minnesota envisions our state as carbon-neutral, resilient, and equitable. To get there, we all have a role to play, and state agencies can’t do it alone. Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program supports Minnesota coastal communities in our common efforts to be resilient. Communities, businesses, and the natural environment can prepare, respond to, and recover from the impacts of climate change. You, your organization, and your community are invited to join us to achieve a shared vision.

Stay engaged with this Forum to find inspiration, helpful resources, and share your successes and challenges with colleagues around the region.

Inspiration
Events and Training

Capacity grants are available for climate action in Minnesota's coastal area. Applications accepted continuously while funds are available. Visit Minnesota's Coastal Program Grants | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us) for more information.

In person

Online, instructor-led

  • Taking Advantage of Federal Funds: Local Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs to Consider; This webinar is one of a series exploring key opportunities for cities to act on climate change through energy efficiency investments – including by capitalizing on new federal funding.  American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) and Sustainable States network. Thanks to CERTs for bringing this opportunity forward for Minnesota. More information and link to registration here.
    • September 20, 1 p.m.
  • Managing your Community’s Floodplain; FEMA staff offer monthly virtual training, 9-10 a.m. throughout the year. Free and open to the public.
    • September 28: Resolving Potential Violations | Register
    • October 26: Floodplain Management Higher Standards | Register
    • November 30: Basement Flooding Mitigation | Register
    • December 14: No Adverse Impact | Register
  • Seven Best Practices for Risk Communication; Introduces participants to the techniques most useful for effective communication about coastal hazards.
  • Principles of Quality Climate Adaptation Training;This training (sponsored by American Society of Adaptation Professionals) will share tools, strategies, and actions to help ensure effective, equitable, and ethical climate change adaptation. Cost is $30 to non-members. Register here.
    • November 30

Self-guided

  • Minnesota Floodplain Training and Education: Department of Natural Resources Floodplain Management office hours, links to Water Talk Newsletter and recorded training courses on floodplain management matters.
  • Building Trust and Taking Action: Local Climate Justice Initiatives in Legacy Cities: July 2022; This recorded webinar focuses on Providence, RI Racial and Environmental Justice Committee and its Climate Justice Plan, the link between planning and public health, and how municipal actors can promote climate justice through stronger community engagement. Panelists consider how to ensure local governments’ sustainability priorities respond directly to the needs of diverse communities.
  • Funding and Finance Coastal Resilience Webinars; This recorded webinar series builds foundational knowledge about funding and financing approaches used to support coastal resilience activities. Experts demystify this complex topic by sharing traditional and emerging approaches, project examples, and lessons learned. Three recorded webinars, 90-minutes total: The Basics, Spotlight on Environmental Impact Bonds, and Spotlight on Community Development Financial Institutions, and Building Capacity in Communities to Access Funding.
  • Introduction to Lidar; This three-hour course is designed for those curious about what Lidar is and why it is useful for management decisions, provides quick and flexible access to topics needed to understand the Lidar landscape. Continuing education credits for the American Institute of Certified Planners and one-hour certificate for Certified Floodplain Manager professional certifications.
  • Working with Lidar; You will learn to quickly determine which Lidar data products are needed for your project. Easily locate Lidar data. See typical projects and the Lidar products needed for your region. Two modules are available: 1) Define and Decide and 2) Identify Lidar-derived products.
  • A Seat at the Table: Training for Whole-Community Climate Resilience Planning; This three-hour training is designed to help coastal resilience planning practitioners incorporate the needs and perspectives of socially vulnerable populations into resilience planning using inclusive, community-driven processes. The resource provides helpful checklists, visuals, and examples, and an overview of whole-community planning with resources for identifying and engaging socially vulnerable populations.
  • Risk Communication Essentials for More Effective Conversations; This six-minute training offers risk communication essentials for improved conversations about coastal hazards.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Office for Coastal Management (NOAA) provides free, devoted training curriculum for all staff working in coastal states. Visit the Digital Coast Training website for a complete list and details. If you wish to request a NOAA training course be held in-person at your Minnesota location, please contact us and we’ll help make it happen.

Community Resources

Please explore these resources and share with community members who may benefit and use.

For everyone:

For educators:

  • Climate.gov/teaching: National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides extensive resources for teachers on the sciences of climate and energy, current climate data, indicator trends, ongoing resources with up-to-date questions and answers.
  • Climatelit.org is a comprehensive resource hub to help K-12 educators nurture young people’s climate literacy with children’s literature and media. Offered by the University of Minnesota Center for Climate Literacy.

For Lake Superior property owners:

  • Lake Level Viewer for the Great Lakes: This NOAA tool uses data and maps to illustrate the scale of potential flooding or land exposure at a given water level (not exact location). They do not account for erosion, subsidence, or future construction. Water levels are shown as they would appear during calm conditions (excludes wind-driven changes in water levels). The data, maps, and information provided should be used only as a screening-level tool for management decisions. As with all remotely sensed data, all features should be verified with a site visit.
  • Plant Recommendations for Minnesota Point Homeowners (2022): The coastal sand dunes and associated plant communities (of Minnesota Point) are unique in Minnesota. The plants and animals supported in this ecosystem are well-adapted to special conditions and include several state-protected species. The native plant communities (Sand Beach, Beachgrass Dune, Juniper Dune Shrubland, and Red Pine-White Pine Woodland) are all considered rare and have been assigned the highest statewide conservation status, critically imperiled, due to their unique attributes and limited distribution in the state. Vegetation can help stabilize lands from wind and wave impacts. While not a guarantee of property protection in this dynamic location, plant establishment is an environmentally sound tool available to all. This guide includes a list of plants native to the plant communities found on the Point, which are best suited to survival in this exposed and dry sandy setting.
  • Lake Superior Property Owner Resource Guide (2021) is a 32-page guidance to help property owners minimize coastal shoreline erosion. Information about the natural processes of coastal erosion and methods to minimize coastal shoreline erosion impacts are included.
  • Visiting the house that sparked coastal land use setbacks is a story by Wisconsin Sea Grant about a tour of property on the south shore of Lake Superior in Herbster. The home on the property was moved 150’ away from the shoreline 20 years ago. 
  • Lake Superior High-Water Spotter This tool provides an opportunity to document and view Lake Superior shoreline impacts from fluctuating water levels.

For community staff and leaders:

Stay Engaged
  • Contact us to share your project, community success, or an idea that may help another community in the region?
  • Local impacts, State of Minnesota actions, and community solutions are highlighted on Our Minnesota Climate  website. Minnesota is taking action on climate change and there is a place for everyone to participate. Check out the DRAFT Climate Action Framework, and find opportunities and actions for your community.
  • Join CHAOS, a community of practice for sharing knowledge and resources about natural hazards that affect Lake Superior’s coastal communities. Email Sarah Brown to join the mailing list and be informed about regional coastal hazards information and resources.
  • Attend Twin Ports Climate Conversations, quarterly conversations with topics focusing on perspectives of climate change impacts, adaptation responses, and opportunities for mitigation and resilience. These conversations are made possible with partnership and collaboration. Join the conversation! Sign up to receive notice of events: Twin Ports Climate Conversations
References from the February 9, 2022 Forum