Water Resiliency

The M&M Area Community Foundation, with the support and guidance of citizens, leading experts, municipal and civic leaders from across Marinette and Menominee Counties are joining forces to increase the resiliency of our region.  For Great Lakes communities, there are many opportunities to prepare for the impacts of extremeevents like heavy down- pours, floods, and coastal storms. Communities face a range of potential impacts if caught by surprise by these events. Given the costs ofimpacts to communities, both financial and quality of life impacts, communities cannot afford to be caught unprepared for extreme weather events and lake levelfluctuations. What is needed is greater resilience in our infrastructure and natural systems. To prepare, we must improve ecosystem and infrastructure resiliency. Themore resilient our systems are, the higher their capacity to adapt in the face of extreme storms.  Through the Resilient Future Project, it is the goal that communities inour region are more resilient in the face of extreme weather and are better prepared to protect the health and wellbeing of people and the natural and built assetsthan ever before. In a more resilient future, communities will experience less damage and disruption resulting from extreme weather and maintained levels of publichealth and overall wellbeing.

Why Be Concerned

According to the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program, part of the NOAA network of climate researchers and climate scientists:

  • Since 1951, total annual precipitation has increased by 14% in the Great Lakes region.
  • The frequency and intensity of severe storms has increased.
  • The amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest 1% of storms increased by 35% in the Great Lakes region from 1951 through

Impacts of Extreme Storms and Increased Runoff

  • Water pollution from combined sewer overflows and other sources
  • Beach closures due to health risk
  • Sedimendation of harbors
  • Shoreline erosion and wind damage
  • Road, bridge, and culvert washouts
  • Flooding damage to property
  • Erosion damage to shorelines during high water

Resilient Future Project


  • Build the capacity of community foundations as force multipliers for progress on the most pressing water challenges across the Great Lakes.
  • Generate community support at all levels for timely and comprehensive action.
  • Deploy best practices for streamlining and assembling partners, for technology and risk management, and for public-private-nonprofit partnerships.

Our Local Efforts

  • Organize a team of multidisciplinary, community-based leaders around the emerging issue of storm and flood resilience.
  • Establish a baseline:
    • Current state of vulnerability to extreme weather.
    • Understanding of resiliency related to extreme weather.
  • Increase understanding about the:
    • Reality of extreme weather and the impact on water quality; public and private property and infrastructure; and human health, safety and welfare; and
    • Importance of and opportunities to prepare for such events.

Next Steps

  • Accelerate innovative green and grey water infrastructure actions and adaptations needed to create resilient communities.
  • Increase capacity of communities to limit the negative impact of severe storm events on the health and wellbeing of people and their communities.
  • Improve levels of civic engagement, resiliency awareness, and innovation capabilities – more significant for long-term resilience than anyone or several infrastructure improvements!