Climate Change Adaptation
For almost a decade the SWP has coordinated annual environmental events for over 200 Upper Peninsula Earth Keeper congregations representing ten faiths (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Jewish, Buddhist, Bahai, Unitarian and Quaker). Many of these Earth Keepers events have set Great Lakes records for pollution prevention (including 312 tons of electronic waste collected in one day)! For 2012, the focus is household water conservation. The SWP provided thousands of free multi-purpose kitchen sink aerators that conserve 40% more water plus an EPA checklist of 10 home water conservation tips. Earth Keeper milestones include:
- 2012: Water conservation for 200 congregations.
- 2011: Sponsored river and beach clean-ups UP-wide.
- 2010: 100,000 CFL light bulbs distributed.
- 2009: Thousands of home energy assessments.
- 2008: 10,000 pine trees planted.
- 2007: 2,200 pounds of medications collected.
- 2006: 312 tons of electronic waste collected.
- 2005: 47 tons of household hazardous waste collected.
If your church is interested in becoming an Earth Keeper congregation please contact the SWP for more information.
SWP PARTNERS WITH NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE
Did you know that scientists recently documented the highest water temperature ever recorded for Lake Superior; 71 degrees Fahrenheit! Another study confirmed that Lake Superior has experienced a 70% loss in ice cover over the last 40 years. The Upper Peninsula is already impacted by other changes related to climate change; drier summers, milder winters, gradual changes in forest cover, loss of rare subarctic plant species, increases in invasive plant species, changes in animal migration patterns and more. The SWP and Pictured Rocks National Park (PRNL) have collaborated to address climate change and promote energy conservation with special emphasis on the two gateway communities adjacent to the park (Munising and Grand Marais).
Thanks to a grant through the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) the Alger Energy Savers program has provided technical and financial assistance to over 300 homes and 50 businesses and reduced carbon emissions by over 2,000 tons while reducing energy use by an estimated 1.7 million kilowatts. This unique program has been featured as a national success story by the National Park Service and is being used as a model for other national parks across the country. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The SWP in cooperation with numerous regional partners is currently finalizing a regional climate adaptation plan for nine counties in the Lake Superior watershed of the Upper Peninsula. The plan includes prioritized adaptation projects and recommended actions for coastal communities. The plan also includes baseline economic data that will help communities better adapt to changing trends in seasonal tourism and other projected regional impacts from a changing Upper Peninsula climate.The Superior Watershed Partnership is teaming up with the Model Forest Policy Program!
Alger County is one of 6 communities in the U.S. to be accepted into the MFPP's Climate Solutions University Program!
On February 22nd, these communities started their first class at Climate Solutions University, a unique web-based forest and water climate adaptation training program. These leading-edge rural communities will receive ten months of on-line classes and hands-on personal coaching from a team of adaptation experts. Through a locally driven stakeholder engagement process, this innovative training curriculum works with participating communities to develop a climate adaptation plan based around each community’s unique conditions. The finished plans recommend future land use policy based around the protection of forest and water resources and will help guide each community to adapt to changes in the natural environment while integrating the future economic needs of local residents.
Other communities accepted into the program:
City of Bath – Maine
Seneca Trail RC&D Council – New York
Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance – Tennessee
Nez Perce Tribe – Idaho
The Watershed Research and Training Center – California
By learning to maintain healthy forests these communities: conserve water resources; protect citizens from flooding, drought, and health hazards; sequester carbon; preserve their economy, maintain natural habitat; and build a sustainable baseline for resource oriented jobs and recreation.
This 11-month educational term empowers local communities in resource rich areas to develop climate action plans relevant to local forest, water and economic issues.
The four steps of the community process are:
1) Communities create local climate action teams;
2) Teams assess local conditions for resource vulnerabilities and action opportunities related to forest, water, land use planning and economics;
3) Teams develop strategies and recommendations for climate adaptation; and
4) Teams implement and monitor their climate adaptation plans, later evaluating them for impacts, benefits and course adjustments.
SWP Climate Change Adaptation Summary
Climate Change Adaptation Planning Guide - King County, Washington
Climate Change Adaptation in the GL Region
Ashuelot River Watershed, New Hapshire Climate Change Adaptation Plan
La Plata County, Colorado Climate Change Adaptation Plan
Climate Adaptation Plan Template