Great Lakes One Water Resilient Future

Person wearing rain boots and splashing in a puddle of water.

Image credit: Kristin Brown on Unsplash.

The Great Lakes One Water project brings together a diverse community leadership team focused on equitable access to information and participation in planning and strategies.

Great Lakes communities experience frequent large coastal storms, flooding and degraded water quality from expanding urbanization. Communities most affected are often low income and communities of color. These communities also tend to have the fewest means to adapt to and mitigate issues of water quality and quantity. Improved community resilience through focused community-government collaborations can protect lives, save infrastructure, and increase community health in these neighborhoods.

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Project description

The Lake Superior Great Lakes One Water team developed the Great Lakes One Water Resilient Future project, which seeks to build a community of civic and municipal leaders with the vision and drive to raise awareness of water-management infrastructure tools. These tools can help mitigate negative impacts of extreme weather on the health and well-being of communities across the the Lake Superior region. This project is part of the Great Lakes One Water Partnership, which is a multi-year, basinwide initiative designed to help communities around the Great Lakes region develop and implement projects to protect the regions freshwater resources.

The Lake Superior team is made up of representatives from the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation, Ecolibrium3, City of Duluth, and Udac.

Why Minnesota Sea Grant?

Minnesota Sea Grant is leading and facilitating meetings of the Lake Superior team, sharing resources and up-to-date science and connecting research and policy to on-the-ground community-based efforts.

This project supports Sea Grant's mission to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment. This project also directly supports Minnesota Sea Grant's focus areas to help create resilient communities and economies and healthy coastal ecosystems in the Lake Superior basin.

What have we done lately?

The Lake Superior team of the Great Lakes One Water Partnership secured a second AmeriCorps VISTA for 2021-2022 who is based at Ecolibrium3. The VISTA will build on previous team efforts understanding community needs as they relate to rain-ready housing and climate resilience within marginalized socio-economic neighborhoods in Duluth, Minnesota. The Lake Superior team was also recently awarded the National Sea Grant's Water Equity in the Great Lakes award. Together with the Illinois-Indiana and Pennsylvania Sea Grant programs, Minnesota Sea Grant and the Great Lakes GLOW team will work on improving community resilience to flooding through green infrastructure practices.

Since its founding, the work of the Lake Superior team has been focused on increased information sharing, capacity building and collaboration of the organizations involved in the team - Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Minnesota Sea Grant, City of Duluth, Ecolibrium3, and Udac. To accomplish this, Minnesota Sea Grant continues to facilitate monthly meetings where these diverse organizations are able to learn from one another, share resources, develop grant/project proposals, and build a supportive network focused on best practices for engaging community members around resilience.

Participants & Audience

Residents and community members of the Lincoln Park Neighborhood and municipal staff in Duluth, Minnesota.

Funding

Current support for the Great Lakes One Water Partnership is provided by the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

Contacts

Madison Rodman, Resilience Extension Educator, mrodman@umn.edu (Project lead and primary contact)

Tiffany Sprague, Stormwater Resilience Extension Educator, tsprague@d.umn.edu

Jesse Schomberg, Associate Director of Outreach; Coastal Communities Extension Educator, jschombe@umn.edu


Program Staff

Madison Rodman headshot
Resilience Extension Educator
Jesse Schomberg headshot
Associate Director of Outreach; Coastal Communities Extension Educator
Portrait of woman with short brown hair
Stormwater Resilience Extension Educator

Partners

  • City of Duluth, Minnesota, State/Local Government
  • Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, Federal Government
  • Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation, NGO
  • Ecolibrium3, NGO
  • Udac, NGO