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.
- Model framework for cooperation and co-stewardship between the Superior National Forest and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the 1854 Treaty Authority. More information including links to memorandum of understanding and Tribal Relations Training videos: Superior National Forest - Tribal Relations (usda.gov)
- Sustainability and climate action in Minnesota coastal communities:
- Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan: 1854 Ceded Territory Including the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, and Grand Portage Reservations
- The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Combine Mitigation with Capacity Building | U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
- St. Louis County has formed an interdepartmental Sustainability Workgroup to address sustainability of operations, resilience, and climate adaptation. The workgroup is composed of at least one county employee from each department, meets semi-monthly to provide a forum for departments to learn from each other and coordinate actions to mitigate and prepare for potential impacts of climate change.
- Sustainability - City of Grand Marais - Minnesota (grand-marais.mn.us)
- Sustainability (duluthmn.gov)
- Why Treaties Matter is available as a virtual exhibit exploring how Dakota and Ojibwe treaties with the U.S. government affected the lands and lifeways of the Indigenous peoples of the place now called Minnesota. See for yourself how binding agreements between nations still matter today. Tribal governments maintain relationships with the United States government. Tribal nations also manage lands, resources, people, communities, and economies while building more secure futures for generations to come.
- Lake Superior coastal processes, shoreline erosion, and strategies for property owners. Recorded virtual workshop, hosted by Cook and Lake counties (Minnesota).
- Climate Risks and Opportunities in the Great Lakes Region. Leveraging Green Infrastructure as a Resilience Measure for Stormwater Infrastructure. 2021. This eighty-eight-page report features narrative context and analysis of publicly available data pertaining to the counties in the Great Lakes states (in the U.S.). Priority list of those best suited for intervention due to being highly at climate risk, with highly vulnerable populations, with highly agile workforces, and strong financial capacity. Link to full report: Climate-Risks-and-Opportunities-in-the-Great-Lakes-Region-January-2021.pdf (risc.solutions)
- Opportunities and funding
- Wisconsin Coastal Management Program has created a catalogue of funding sources that can be used towards addressing coastal hazards and building coastal resilience. The list is available online: Funding Opportunities – Wisconsin Coastal Resilience (wicoastalresilience.org)
- Explore 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.
- Minnesota Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program is now accepting applications. Program launched on February 7 and completed applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited funds are available for the EV rebate. More information and instructions for applying are available at: Electric Vehicle Rebates / Minnesota Department of Commerce - Energy (mn.gov)
- 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.
- Workshops, training and conferences
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.
Climate Resilience: Making cities more climate resilient with blue and green solutions, February 24. Join this webinar to hear from experts around the world to explore how they are effectively building blue-green infrastructure capable of withstanding the compounding challenges of climate change, driving impactful interventions, and improving long-term planning. More information and link to register is available at: Speaker Series 2024 #1 | Climate Resilience - Resilient Cities Network
Social Science for Equitable Coastal Resilience: Social Coast Forum 2024, February 12 – 15, Charleston, South Carolina: Join the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management at the seventh Social Coast Forum. Climate change is exacerbating all issues related to coastal management, including human health, food security, transportation, the economy, and the environment. Presentations and discussions at the Forum will focus on applying social science data, tools, and practices to address these issues.
2024 Forum Goals
- Attendees will feel they are part of a larger community of practitioners who are working together to ensure equitable coastal resilience.
- Attendees will have a clear understanding of the role social science plays in supporting coastal resilience.
- Attendees will share best practices that support increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and accessibility in coastal resilience.
More information and registration can be found on the event website: Summary - 2024 Social Coast Forum (cvent.com)
Heart of the Continent Partnership Winter Gathering, February 20 – 21, Grand Portage. Respect for the Land and Respect for the People. Information about the presentations, conversations and registration can be found at event web page : RESPECT FOR THE LAND AND RESPECT FOR THE PEOPLE.
14th Annual St. Louis River Summit, March 6-8, Superior, WI. Braiding Visions for an Enduring Future. This summit provides opportunities to learn about the status and findings of current research, results implemented projects, ideas and discussions of future work and ways people are connecting with the river. More information and registration link can be found at event web page: 14th Annual St. Louis River Summit – Lake Superior Reserve (lakesuperiornerr.org)
Midwest Climate Summit 2024, April 3 – 5, Indianapolis, IN: Finding Regional Alignment. Hosted by the Midwest Climate Collaborative, a multi-sector network spanning 12 states working for a carbon neutral, climate resilient, interconnected Midwest region. This event prioritizes multi-disciplinary approaches that connect leaders across sectors and communities for greater collective action on climate. More information including registration can be found on event web page: Midwest Climate Summit 2024 (wustl.edu)
National Adaptation Forum, May 14-16, 2024, St. Paul, Minnesota: This is a bi-annual convening for adaptation professionals to innovate, network, and focus on established and emerging climate adaptation issues of the day. The Forum provides opportunities for professional development through training sessions, facilitated presentations and panels, and formal and informal networking sessions. More information can be found on the website: National Adaptation Forum
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 series focuses 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.
- Help keep our fresh water clean and our communities safe. The North Shore Homeowners Guide to Managing Stormwater explains how and why to manage your property by managing stormwater.
- Be aware and be prepared. Plan Ahead for Disasters | Ready.gov
- Deep Winter Greenhouses are passive-solar greenhouses which can be used by gardeners and small-scale farmers to grow crops year-round. Information, production guidance, construction documents and much more is available through the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnership.
- Citizens and communities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Find inspiration and ideas at the Duluth Citizens Climate Action Plan web page.
- 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:
- The Private Equity Land Grab Expanding to Smaller Legacy Cities | Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
- Assess vulnerability of your Lake Superior public access site with this protocol created for Minnesota coastal managers.
- Return on Investment: Research Links Climate Action with Land and Property Value Increases | Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
- Find tools for communities facing extreme heat at the new website HEAT.Gov - National Integrated Heat Health Information System
- Climate Change Policy Guide. This (2020) reference document by the American Planning Association provides planners with guidance for creating locally and regionally tailored climate policies, plans, programs, projects, standards, and regulations.
- Review and consider Minnesota’s historical or projected future climate with the Minnesota’s Climate Explorer tool. Share this resource with your colleagues who may benefit from the information.
- Urban sustainability directors network provides tools to train staff and engage communities in efforts to support climate resilience progress. Review toolkits for USDN Game of Floods, Game of Extremes, and Game of Heat. Instructional video is included, or option to request facilitation. Partner with us and we can help facilitate a game in your (Minnesota) coastal community.
- 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.
- 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
- Regional Climate Update (44.48 minutes). Includes presentations by: Heidi Roop, University of Minnesota; Kim Channell, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments; and Megan Salmon-Tumas, Northland College.
- Tools to Expedite Climate Action (30.27 minutes). Includes presentations by: Kristin Mroz, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Carol Andrews, St. Louis County; Abby Finis, Great Plains Institute; and Peter Lindstrom, Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams.
- Forum references and links
- Forum Agenda
- Climate concerns and priorities by geographic area
- Ojibwe People's Dictionary
- Working Definitions for Western Lake Superior Resilience Forum