Preparing Minnesota for Climate Change: A Conference on Climate Adaptation

Thursday, November 7, 2013 
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
The conference is designed for local officials, planners, engineers and natural resource practitioners to learn about other communities' early successes in developing adaptation strategies in areas such as transportation infrastructure, natural resources, human health, and agriculture. The morning and noon speakers will set the stage, and the afternoon will features breakout sessions describing successful case studies.  

Conference Agenda 

Featured speakers:
Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota, Current status of climate change in Minnesota
Peter Snyder, University of Minnesota, Potential climate changes between now and 2050
Bob Johnson, President, Insurance Federation of Minnesota

Afternoon breakout sessions:

1. Preparing for Extreme Events: Lessons from Flood Duluth Event 
Emergency situations like the June 2012 superstorm and subsequent flooding in Duluth and along the North Shore, provide opportunities for local communities and governments to implement climate adaptation strategies related to infrastructure and policies. Decision making in such situations can be crisis-driven (public safety, resident access, funding resources), however advance planning can help communities be prepared to take advantage of emergencies to improve their climate readiness.

2. Public Health Preparedness and Response to Extreme Heat
The health of Minnesota residents can be impacted during extreme heat events. State and local health professionals will talk about plans to protect all residents during times of extreme heat. 
John Hick, Hennepin County Medical Center, Beat the Heat
Kristen Raab, Minnesotat Department of Health, Preparing for the Heat Season: MN Extreme Heat Toolkit
Pamela Blixt Health Department, City of Minneapolis, Presentation

3. Managing Risk in Agriculture in Changing Climates
Agriculture will be impacted in numerous ways due to changes in climate. This session will look at the USDA climate strategy, issues of animal health and other issues facing agricultural producers.

Robert Johansson Managing the Risk of Climate Change for Agriculture
Larry Jacobson Managing Risk in (Animal) Agriculture in Changing Climate
Betsy Weiland Minnesota Crops and Climate Change

4. Highway Interchange 101/61 Flood Mitigation Project – Past, Present, and Future
MnDOT and Local agencies have dealt with increasingly frequent flooding along the Minnesota River. This presentation will review how floods in this area have been managed in the past; discuss the options considered in a recent flood mitigation study and go over the design of one of the selected permanent flood mitigation solutions scheduled to start construction the summer of 2014.

Nicole Bartelt and Molly Kline, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Ron Leaf, Short Elliot Hendrickson, Lyndon Robjent, Carver County,Presentation


5. Adapting Urban Ecosystems for Climate Change: Urban Forestry and Mosquito control
Minnesota’s urban ecosystems face stresses from a changing climate, with implications for the environment as well as human health. This session discusses climate impacts and adaptation opportunities for our urban forests and control of mosquito pests. 

Nancy Read Adapting to a Changing Climate: Issues for Mosquito Control
Gary Johnson Adapting to Urban Ecosystem Changes

6. Community Stormwater Response to a Changing Landscape and Climate
As communities grow, land use changes can compound the effects of extreme rain events through impervious surface coverage and a reduction in open space. This session will focus on several case studies where communities have developed stormwater plans and frameworks that prepare them for extreme storm events. 

Trisha Moore Highlights from the Minnehaha Creek Stormwater Adaptation Study

Holly Kreft and Cara Geheren, City of Victoria, The Influence of the City of Victoria Plans and Policies: Looking Ahead and Looking Back

7. Climate Adaptation in Minneapolis and Saint Paul 
An overview of climate adaptation initiatives under development and underway in the two cities.

Brendon Slotterback City of Minneapolis, Climate Adaptation Planning in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities

8. Strategies for Addressing Climate-change Impacts on Water Quality and Aquatic Life
Climate change poses numerous risks for water quality and aquatic life. This session will describe emerging impacts and strategies for addressing them, focusing on water quality and cold-water fisheries case studies in Minnesota

Peter Jacobson Protecting coldwater fish from climate change: Building resilience in deep lakes using a landscape approach
Lucinda Johnson Impacts of climate change on water quality and aquatic life: what are we seeing, why does it matter, and what can we do

9. Facing challenges of limited community water availability 
Minnesota communities face numerous challenges in accessing and supplying adequate water for residential and business use. Presenters will discuss issues of community water availability in the Metro Area and the City of Marshall in the context of a changing climate, as well as opportunities to continue meeting future demand for water. 

Brad Roos Facing Challenges of Limited Community Water Availability
Brian Davis Water Supply Issues in the Metro Area