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
Timely opportunities and updates
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.

Online, instructor-led

  • Smart Salting Training Program from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Smart Salting for Leaders; This workshop helps local leaders understand the impacts of chloride on infrastructure and water resources and provide them with resources and specific action steps to make policy changes in their communities to reduce salt pollution.
  • Virtual - Facilitation Basics for Coastal Managers; Learn to plan and facilitate effective in-person or virtual meetings. For additional information or to register email [email protected]
    • February 15–16, noon to 3 p.m. (Central)
    • March 8–9, noon to 3 p.m. (Central)
    • March 15–16, noon to 3 p.m. (Central)

Self-guided

  • Learn the best tools homeowners can use to keep driveways and sidewalks safe in winter, use of deicers in various winter conditions, and effects of deicers and sand on lakes, streams and groundwater. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, University of Minnesota, and Fortin Consulting produced brief, instructional videos to introduce best practices for winter maintenance of sidewalks, entryways and steps, and offers guidance on deicing materials and application rates.
  • Community Options and Considerations for Adapting to Flooding (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 series is 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.
  • 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. 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.

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:

  • 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