Climate Change in Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay: Integrated Assessment
Great Lakes coastal communities are already experiencing the effects of climate change and climate variability. And, in places like Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, land use, an influx of population and increased development have also impacted the coastal waters and the watershed.
Together, climate and land use changes have altered the amount of water, sediment, nutrients, toxins and pathogens entering streams and coastal waters. Forecasts predict that changes in temperature and precipitation patterns are likely to intensify. These anticipated changes have the potential to threaten the ecology and economy of the Grand Traverse Bay region.
Sea Grant Funds: $149,974 | Matching Funds: $76,328
The research team will address the following questions:
- What are the risks and vulnerabilities of the bay region, its watershed and its coastal communities to climate and land use changes?
- What are potential adaptive strategies that would help preserve particular uses?
In order to answer those questions, the research team will:
- Quantify historical changes in air and water temperature, precipitation, snowfall, lake ice cover, lake levels, stream flow and water quality.
- Assess impacts of these changes on the ecosystem, lake levels and the shoreline and pathogens entering the system.
- Simulate the likely impacts of climate change on the watershed.
- Assess the effectiveness and economic impacts of management strategies that are critical to the economy.
- Develop adaptive management strategies and a report.
The final project report will include options for adaptive management that can be implemented by resource managers and policy practitioners to mitigate the effects of our changing climate.