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 (GLOW) team developed the Great Lakes One Water Resilient Future project. The aim of this project is 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 effects of extreme weather on the health and well-being of communities across 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.

Project activities:

  • The Lake Superior Great Lakes One Water (GLOW) project team continues to meet regularly, sharing resources and building capacity to collectively increase our community's resilience to water quantity and quality challenges.
  • The Lake Superior GLOW team is preparing to grow and restructure in 2023 which will allow them to serve more neighborhoods in the Duluth area.
  • The Lake Superior GLOW team of the GLOW Partnership secured a second AmeriCorps VISTA member for 2021-2022 who is based at Ecolibrium3 and will build on previous team efforts.
  • The Lake Superior GLOW team was awarded the National Sea Grant's Water Equity in the Great Lakes award. Together with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Pennsylvania Sea Grant programs, Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) and the Lake Superior GLOW team will work on improving community resilience to flooding through green infrastructure practices.
  • Since its founding, the work of the Lake Superior GLOW team has been focused on increased information sharing, capacity building and collaboration of the organizations involved in the team. To accomplish this, MNSG 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.

Why Minnesota Sea Grant?

Minnesota Sea Grant is leading and facilitating meetings of the Lake Superior Great Lakes One Water project 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?

  • In April 2023, we will host a booth on stormwater and green infrastructure at Duluth EcoFest as part of Earth Week activities in Duluth, Minnesota.
  • In the spring of 2023, we collaborated with the City of Duluth Love Your Block program to fund and develop a small neighborhood tree planting program for residents in the Lincoln Park and Hillside neighborhoods.
  • The GLOW community of practice continues to meet monthly to connect, share resources and build capacity for community-engaged work on water quantity and quality challenges.

Participants & audience

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


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

Project team

Project lead:
Madison Rodman
Resilience Extension Educator
Minnesota Sea Grant

Co-project lead:
Tiffany Sprague
Stormwater & Sustainability Program Coordinator/Educator
Natural Resources Research Institute

Program Staff

Jessy Carlson
Resilience Extension Associate
Madison Rodman headshot
Resilience Extension Educator


  • 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

Published: 05/24/2021
Updated: 04/17/2023