A Climate Resilience Forum


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.

Opportunities and updates
  • Minnesota State Legislature 2023 approved funding for more than 40 climate initiatives in energy, environment, agriculture, health, transportation and construction. Find more information in the 2023 Legislative Session Press Release.
  • Minnesota greenhouse gas emissions have been updated (2023) by Pollution Control Agency. The State’s goals are to reduce emissions 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Minnesota’s overall greenhouse gas emissions decreased 24% between 2005 and 2020. View individual sectors in more detail, download summary data and see other trends online via Tableau public.
  • Your yard can BEE the change! The Lawns to Legumes program offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding (individual support grants) for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. The program also includes demonstration neighborhoods, which are pollinator programs run by local governments and nonprofit organizations with support from the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), and a public education campaign to raise awareness about creating pollinator habitat. Find details on Individual Support Grants, Demonstration Neighborhoods, public outreach and more on its web page.
  • Go electric! (Now): Rewiring America’s Guide to incentives of the Inflation Reduction Act. See the full website with information on policy, data and maps, news and publications, and more at: rewiringamerica.org.
  • Explore by Census Tract, County, or Tribal Land current and future exposure to five major climate-related hazards with the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation Assessment Tool provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) introduces Alternative Cost-Effectiveness Methodology for FY2022 BRIC and FMA (floods.org).
Events and training

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.

Online, instructor-led

FEMA 2023 Hazard Mitigation Partners Virtual Workshop: October 16 – 19, 11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CDT. The focus of the event this year is All Together for Climate Resilient Communities. Conversations throughout the workshop will focus on building mitigation champions, driving community resilience, providing technical assistance for grant programs, and supporting community resilience and hazard mitigation. More information and registration at this link.

In-person, instructor-led

A Walking Tour of Barker’s Island Stormwater Projects, October 3, Superior, WI. Twin Ports Climate Conversations is hosting a walking tour to highlight recent stormwater projects on Barker's Island. Join us and explore the connection between green (and grey) infrastructure, water quality, and climate resilient communities! For more information, sign-up for GovDelivery announcements for Twin Ports Climate Conversations

Reimagining Coastal Resilience Workshop, October 12, Ashland, WI. Resource managers and professionals are invited to this workshop to explore climate change adaptation strategies specific to coastal area-projects or places using guidance from the coastal adaptation menu (Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science). No cost to attend, space is limited, and registration is required. This workshop is part of a larger symposium. A link to register for all symposium events including this workshop is here.

Building Risk Communication: Fall 2023, Duluth, MNCoastal resilience is the ability to respond to, withstand and adapt to the impacts of coastal hazards. Effective risk communication is one element of community resilience. Public awareness, response and actions related to coastal hazards are affected by the communication they receive about risk. This two-part training series will focus on building risk communication skills for staff, decision-makers, and anyone working with the public to promote actions that reduce risk from hazards.

This updated version of NOAA’s one-day, in-person training will help you gain additional skills to better understand your priority audience and design a more effective risk communication approach for your specific audience. Participants of this training session will collaborate with colleagues and peers to develop a risk communication strategy ready for implementation upon completion of the training. Attendees will leave this training equipped with strategic approaches to difficult conversations with a variety of community members and audiences that you may encounter. For additional information or to attend email [email protected]

Building Blocks for Sharing Science. More tools for your toolbox: Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve have partnered to offer this virtual training series. These courses aim to help build confidence and skills in a variety of ways.

  • How to Design a Compelling Grant Proposal and Presentation, September 21
  • Economic Guidance: Pathways to Valuing Ecosystem Services, October 17

More information and link to register: Building Blocks for Sharing Science - Lake Superior Reserve (lakesuperiornerr.org)

Midwest Climate Resilience Conference, Duluth, MN, October 25-27, 2023. This is an opportunity to come together for inspiration and encouragement for climate adaptation. More information and link to register.


North Central Water Region Network’s The Current Webinar Series archive includes a recording from September 2022 webinar, Helping Communities Prepare for Extreme Weather. This webinar explores different tools and approaches to creating community resilience through hazard mitigation, natural infrastructure, and evaluating and communicating flood risk.

(April 2022):CCRUN Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities Seminar Series provided by Consortium for Climate Risk in the Northeast – CCRUN, A NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Project. The focus of the CCRUN seminar seriesisfocuses on urban solutions to global problems associated with increasing temperature and sea level rise, precipitation variability, and greenhouse gas emissions. Topics cover a span of implications of such changes on the complex infrastructure of intensely developed landscapes, and on the health, well-being, and vulnerability of the people who live in them. Find ideas, inspiration and potential solutions in any of the multiple topics presented since 2016 in the recordings of past seminars

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. 

Risk Communication Essentials for More Effective Conversations: This six-minute training offers risk communication essentials for improved conversations about coastal hazards. 

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. Four 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.

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:

  • Citizen’s Coastal Erosion Monitoring Guide: This guide, developed by Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, is meant to empower citizens to document the process of coastal erosion along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
  • North Shore Erosion Data Viewer is a resource for identifying properties and highlighting erosion on lands of the North Shore of Lake Superior. Developed by Arrowhead Regional Development Commission and partners.
  • 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.

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. Download Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework, review the state’s greenhouse gas emission analysis and find your place in climate action here.
  • 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

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