Climate Change Impacts on Lake Superior and its Watersheds

Session runs Friday, Sept. 29th from 09:00 to 10:30 a.m., Bartley Residence Conference Room

Panelists -Robert Stewart – Lakehead University (Moderator), EJ Isaac – Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Alyssa Ray – Red Rock Indian Band; Carl Lindquist – Superior Watershed Partnership, Marquette, Mich.; Tom Beery – Minnesota Sea Grant, Duluth, Minn.

Panelist Bios…

Climate is a primary driver impacting Lake Superior and its surrounding watershed. Water levels, water temperature, fish populations, other aquatic and terrestrial organisms, even area communities and the Great Lakes economy are all inherently linked to climate.

Lake Superior Climate Change Impacts Report

Changes in climate are already well documented and include increased Lake Superior surface water and air temperature, changes in the onset of seasons, decreased ice cover and increased storm intensity. Changes to cold water fish species, coastal wetlands, forest habitat, shoreline, and phytoplankton/zooplankton populations are just some of the changes which may take place, or which have begun to take place.

This panel will focus on Lake Superior environmental restoration and protection in the face of climate change. Forum participants will cite examples of effects and challenges induced through climate change in specific communities around Lake Superior. Participation by Canadian First Nations and U.S. Tribal community representatives will ensure inclusion of indigenous perspective and knowledge.

Practical solutions to the challenges arising through climate change are beginning to be implemented in Lake Superior communities. The purpose of this session is to present, discuss and debate these solutions, as well as the many challenges which remain.