Fact sheets, webinars and upcoming workshop help Saginaw Bay communities prepare for extreme storms

Saginaw Bay watershed decision-makers, planners, residents, and other partners are invited to attend free summit on Aug. 15.

Flooding in June 2017 caused damage across the Saginaw Bay region, and a state of emergency was declared in Bay, Isabella and Midland counties. Photo: Kip Cronk

In June 2017, a storm caused major flooding to roads, homes, businesses and agriculture in the Saginaw Bay region. The storm caused a state of emergency to be declared in Bay, Isabella and Midland counties. Extreme storms contribute to issues such as erosion, runoff pollution, infrastructure instability and crop damage. The land-use patterns and topography in the Saginaw Bay watershed increase the region’s vulnerability to these issues.

Getting prepared

Responding to these emergencies requires focus and resources. It is equally important to invest in preparing communities before hazards occur. Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, Bay County Emergency Management Division, East Michigan Council of Governments, Midland County Office of Emergency Management, and the Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative have been working together to improve community resiliency, which in this instance refers to a community’s ability to adapt to and recover quickly from extreme storms. Decision-makers across the Saginaw Bay watershed’s 22 counties participated in a 2015 survey to explore views of extreme storms and their local impacts, which was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Storms Program. The results were summarized and reported along with outreach actions to improve community resiliency.

Using the survey results as a guide, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, and local partners created educational materials to support community resiliency and increase understanding of the impacts of extreme storms and flooding. These materials include three fact sheets which identify tips and online tools to help communities assess their risks from extreme storms and determine what steps they might take to reduce stormwater impact:

Also created was a webpage sharing and preserving stories and images from The Great Flood of 1986, which greatly impacted the Saginaw Bay region, and a webinar series.

Webinar series

Developed to support decision-makers and planners in addressing and developing resiliency related to extreme storms and flooding in the Saginaw Bay region, three webinars were held and recorded.

Register for the Aug. 15 Saginaw Bay Resiliency Summit35552271075_72cfd41909_o[1]

To further connect while exploring community resiliency issues, MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, and  other local partners will hold a Saginaw Bay Resiliency Summit, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center in Frankenmuth, MI. Saginaw Bay watershed decision-makers, planners, residents, and other partners are invited to attend this free event.

Attendees can register for the summit at http://bit.ly/ResiliencySummit2018. Topics include hazard mitigation strategies, green infrastructure, and more. There also will be time for networking over the provided lunch. For questions or accessibility needs, please contact Meaghan Gass, gassmeag@msu.edu or (989) 895-4026 ext. 5.

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

These educational materials were prepared by Michigan Sea Grant College Program under awards NA14OAR4170285 and NA140AR4170070 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce through the Regents of the University of Michigan. The environmental data, statements, findings, conclusions, recommendations and related items of information are those of the author(s) and have not been formally disseminated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, or the Regents of the University of Michigan and should not be construed to represent any agency determination view or policy.

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