2019 GLISA Small Grant: Advancing Climate Resilience in the Western Lake Superior Region

Funded by 2019 GLISA Small Grants Competition



Duluth, Minnesota is a city on the coast of Lake Superior with nearly 90,000 residents and 43 streams flowing through the city. Significant flooding and damage from extreme precipitation events and high Lake Superior winds and waves have impacted the city’s infrastructure in recent years. This project provided technical assistance and workshop support to aid Duluth’s climate action planning and advance climate resilience for western Lake Superior region municipalities. It culminated in a Forum with presentations on regional climate, community case studies on climate mitigation and adaptation, tools to expedite climate action, and breakout sessions for participants to engage on climate action and adaptation. GLISA worked closely with the grantee to plan, facilitate, and administer the Forum.

Project Accomplishments and Outcomes

Research Findings (Anticipated)

Sharing of climate projections including through narratives and story, identification of existing local government and community climate-action assets, assessment of population vulnerabilities and facilitated exercises will: 1) identify categories for climate action, potential sectors and institutions needed for partnering, existing and future financial resources and narratives to inspire uptake of climate action across various sectors, 2) build understanding of community impacts and equity issues around climate change and adaptation solutions, and 3) offer insights on process, outputs and outcomes to inform and inspire surrounding communities to take further action. Results are intended to be summarized in a way that can be built into future planning.

GLISA’s Contribution

GLISA funded this 2019 small grant project and partnered with the grantee to administer the Resilience Forum and present climate projections and impacts for the Great Lakes region during the Forum.


Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, City of Duluth, Minnesota Sea Grant, Wisconsin Sea Grant, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Lake Superior National Estuarine and Research Reserve, Great Plains Institute, Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, and the Northwest Regional Planning Commission.

GLISA Contact

Kim Channell, Climatologist, kimchann@umich.edu