Leaders In Community Climate Adaptation
The Lake Superior Coastal Resiliency Project includes approximately 4,200 feet of shoreline adjacent to Lakeshore Boulevard and will create approximately 28 acres of public green space. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded a $2.5 million coastal resiliency grant to the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) to assist the City of Marquette in restoring almost a mile of severely eroding Lake Superior shoreline within the city limits. Project activities will control coastal erosion and restore or enhance numerous natural features including but not limited to coastal floodplain, sand beach, dune and swale, coastal wetlands and a variety of terrestrial wildlife and bird habitats. During the three year project implementation timeline the City of Marquette will also coordinate the reconstruction of Lakeshore Boulevard; moving the road approximately 300 feet inland. The completed project will also include an extensive hiking-biking trail system with parking and ADA public access. The project also includes innovative design features developed by the City of Marquette Engineering Department including green infrastructure practices to insure cleaner stormwater runoff from the roadway and parking areas.
Due to more frequent and more intense storm events and the risk to public safety the City of Marquette has been forced to close a large portion of Lakeshore Boulevard for extended periods of time. Recent extreme weather has included record-setting rain events, recurring road flooding, wave and storm surge impacts and threats to public safety. During a storm in October of 2017 buoys documented record 28-foot waves offshore from Marquette. During that same storm Lakeshore Boulevard sustained extensive damage and two people drowned attempting to view the waves at nearby Presque Isle Park.
The SWP is a regional leader in assisting UP residents and communities with energy conservation and climate adaptation.
Hundreds of homeowners and many local businesses have benefited from SWP energy conservation and alternative energy programs including a unique program that installs solar panels for qualifying low-income families.
The SWP home energy assistance program, funded by the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), helps income-qualified households conserve energy and reduce utility bills. Through this program, the SWP Energy Conservation Corps (ECC) provides home energy assessments and free of charge services for homeowners. Homeowners also receive direct assistance with energy payments and home energy conservation training.
The SWP solar initiative promotes solar at all income levels and encourages long-term energy affordability to offset energy costs and improve the overall efficiency of residential homes and small businesses.
By highlighting these solar demonstration sites, the SWP solar initiative strives to promote energy literacy throughout community members and leaders in the Upper Peninsula and Great Lakes region.
The SWP works with UP communities to foster regional cooperation in climate change adaptation planning and mitigation efforts. The SWP was integral in forming the Marquette County Climate Adaptation Task Force (CATF) a regional climate task force that includes the City of Marquette, Marquette County, local businesses, and representatives from Northern Michigan University. In addition, the SWP works with coastal communities across the UP (Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron) to plan and implement small scale and large scale climate adaptation and mitigation projects to protect critical infrastructure and increase the resiliency of the shoreline to withstand more frequent and intense storms.