How Midwestern Communities are Preparing for Changing Weather and Other Climate Change Impacts

We can see our weather changing before our eyes – we’re experiencing increasingly intense storms and droughts – and we know that our communities must respond accordingly to the significant local and regional impacts. Thanks to the National Wildlife Federation for their new report which focuses on the things we can do now that will help us to prepare and adapt to changes that will shape the economy and our quality of life for the foreseeable future.

The report highlights cities and counties across the Midwest that are making changes to their flood control, storm water, and wastewater management systems (like “bioswales”, linear rain gardens, and porous parking lots), and planning for more “green infrastructure” and green spaces that double to help purify our drinking water while providing wildlife habitat and corridors. These are not new ideas, but have taken some time to catch on.

Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt says, “I think that the folks that started doing a trial basis of this 10-15 years ago started having results; outputs. People were skeptical, you know, ‘I have to see this working’ is what many of us think. ‘I want to see something that works, that somebody else has done.’ ”

Take a listen to Michigan Radio’s four-minute radio program, check NWF’s infographics, or read the full National Climate Assessment Report for the Midwest to get inspired by solutions that are working. Whether you’re an elected official, a policymaker, a community leader, or a concerned citizen, think about what you can do to help your own community to prepare for events like heavier storms. And for more tools and resources to help engage your communities, check out Path to Positive.

Communities use “green infrastructure” to adapt to climate change

By Rebecca WilliamsMichigan Radio | May 7, 2015

Our climate is changing and people are working out ways to adapt.

A new report takes a look at how climate change is affecting weather in the U.S. and what people are doing to try to get ready for more changes in the future.

Mike Shriberg is the regional executive director of the Great Lakes office of the National Wildlife Federation, one of the groups that wrote the report.

The report draws from the Midwest portion of the National Climate Assessment. Shriberg says scientists are documenting a number of ways our region’s weather patterns are changing.

“We’re seeing things like an increase in storms as well as increased droughts. We have more precipitation overall but it’s coming in bigger outbursts with longer gaps in between it,” he says.

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