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Northwestern Wisconsin communities can get support for climate change projects


One of the most destructive impacts of climate change in the Northwoods has been major rain events leading to flooding.

An example of this was in 2016. A storm dumped 10 inches of rain on Saxon Harbor wiping out boats, piers, and roads.

Saxon Harbor has now been built back more resilient to the effects of climate change.

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and Wisconsin Sea Grant want to help other communities prepare for their own challenges when it comes to climate change.

It’s starting the Lake Superior Climate Champions program.

“What we would like to do through this Lake Superior Climate Champions program is provide some direct support to communities in this region who are really ready to take some action on climate change but just need a little assistance moving some of their goals forward,” said Karina Heim, the coastal training program coordinator for the Lake Superior Reserve based in Superior, Wisconsin. She and Natalie Chin with Wisconsin Sea Grant will be leading the Lake Superior Champions Program.

The program is open to communities in Iron, Ashland, Bayfield, and Douglas Counties and they don’t have to be on the shores of Lake Superior.

You do need to form a team of two to four people that have decision-making roles in the community.

The types of projects can range from creating assessment and planning tools to addressing a specific climate-related issue that’s already come up in your community.

“We’re ready to meet communities where they are at with their climate work. If we don’t have the expertise in house to help, we’ll link them with some resources and frameworks for moving that work forward over the course of a year,” said Heim.

There is about 2,500 dollars in funding available for each project. Two communities will be selected and go through the program as co-hort.

“When you’re dealing with climate change issues and challenges it helps to do that in partnership with others and to kind of share lessons and stories with others,” said Heim.

The application deadline is August 1st. You can learn more about the requirements and apply on the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve website.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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