Examining Community Responses to Water Resource Impacts and Building Climate Readiness in Lake Superior Coastal Communities

Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Forest Resources are meeting with local stakeholders to better understand community responses to water resource impacts and to build climate readiness in coastal communities. This study is part of a broader research and outreach project funded by Minnesota Sea Grant that integrates water and social science to assess and enhance coastal community resilience under extreme weather events. The broader project is led by the Natural Resources Research Institute at University of Minnesota Duluth. The community study area is the Duluth and Hermantown communities within the Mission and Miller Creek Watersheds. Interviews and focus groups are being conducted with local actors, community leaders, and land use/water resource professionals. Specifically, the study investigates 1) local perspectives on community assets, community needs, environmental planning, and water conservation programming, and 2) the capacity of communities, community leaders, and land use/water resource professionals to anticipate and respond to climate-related impacts. Interview and focus group data will be combined with water and land use impact models to help communities anticipate and respond to future climate-related impacts, including extreme weather events. Results and recommendations will be shared with community leaders, educators, and resource professionals in interactive workshops.

Project Staff: 

Holly Meier, George Host, Mae Davenport, Lucinda Johnson, Vanessa Perry, Jenn Shepard, and Joseph Nowak III