The Great Lakes News Collaborative
Ready or Not
The Great Lakes region is frequently touted as one of the most climate-resilient places in the U.S., in no small part because of its enviable water resources. But climate change also threatens water quality, availability, and aging water infrastructure by exposing existing vulnerabilities and creating new ones. In this series, members of the Great Lakes News Collaborative explore what it may take to prepare the Great Lakes region for the future climatologists say we can expect.
The collaborative’s four nonprofit newsrooms — Bridge Michigan, Circle of Blue, Great Lakes Now at DPTV and Michigan Radio — aim to elevate discussion, amplify the voice of Michigan residents and produce action that protects the region’s waters for future generations. While Mott provides financial support, our public service journalism is produced independently
Water Could Make The Great Lakes Region a Climate Refuge. Are We Prepared?
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Warming winters, ample reserves of fresh water, and forests not prone to wildfire are ecological benefits that could attract millions of new residents to the Great Lakes and reverse decades of slow population growth. © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue.
The next phase of climate research is to understand whether meteorological disruption will not only force people out of their homes, but also compel them to move away, perhaps to the Great Lakes. © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue.
Has climate migration started? A financial investment manager from Austin, Texas, purchased a home north of Marquette, near here, as a hedge against climate disruption, according to his realtor. © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue.
Great Lakes forests, not nearly as vulnerable to wildfire, are the foundation of a $100 billion annual recreation, manufacturing, and real estate economy. They absorb and store carbon, reduce flooding and erosion, keep streams clean, and provide habitat for plants and animals. © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue.
In September, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that called for cutting emissions 28 percent by 2025 compared with 1990 levels. She set 2050 as the deadline for the state to reach carbon neutrality. This Presque Isle power plant no longer operates. © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue.
Mother Earth is pushing back hard with heat, fires, hurricanes, droughts, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and plagues. Whether they are big or small, responses are complex, expensive, and take years to complete in and outside the Great Lakes region. © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue.
From 1901 to 2015, annual precipitation increased almost 10 percent in the Great Lakes region, much more than the 4 percent rise for the nation as a whole. © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue.