Climate change workshop set in Marquette
MARQUETTE – The city of Marquette, in conjunction with the Superior Watershed Partnership, will host a community workshop Wednesday to further discuss the local and regional impacts of climate change.
The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Arena.
In February, the SWP and the city held an initial meeting to gain public input about how to help the city best adapt to climate change.
Wednesday’s meeting will contain a review of concerns and observations provided by participants at the first meeting and will include an overview of recommended policies.
“Mainly we’re just trying to get more public input on concerns people have locally about climate change and to share some of the recommendations we’ve come up with,” SWP Executive Director Carl Lindquist said.
The SWP’s recently completed Lake Superior Climate Adaptation, Mitigation and Implementation Plan will also be discussed at the meeting. The 78-page document provides a summary of current conditions, potential impacts and recommended actions for communities in the Upper Peninsula’s Lake Superior Watershed.
The plan – which includes all or parts of Marquette, Alger, Luce, Chippewa, Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and Gogebic counties – provides a local and a regional climate change blueprint, and contains a long list of goals and related actions identified by the SWP.
City Planner Dave Stensaas said the city needs to determine which parts of the SWP plan, if any, will be most easily integrated into a Marquette plan.
“This is really intended to develop a climate action plan for the city,” he said “This is a plan that would be incorporated into our master plan and it would be specific to the city of Marquette.”
He said the plan may focus on handling increased flooding and storm damage that may be seen as a result of climate change, as well as increased freezing and thawing cycles and a higher prevalence of invasive species.
Stensaas said the planning process should be completed fairly quickly – along with the community master plan review – but said implementation and funding for any specific projects could take time.
The SWP plan highlights a decline in annual snowfall and a rising Lake Superior surface temperature. Long-term, climate change could alter animal migration patterns and lead to the loss of certain plant species, according to the document.
The plan was created in cooperation with Climate Solutions University, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the U.S. Forest Service, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Headwaters Economics and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center.
A copy of the plan can be found on the SWP website at www.superiorwatersheds.org.
Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.