Minnesota Climate Change Adaptation Working Group

Vision: To advance climate change adaptation [in Minnesota] through coordination, research, and education.


The Minnesota Climate Change Adaptation Working Group (CCAWG) began meeting in June 2008 and includes representatives of state (MDNR, MDH, MPCA, MNDoT, EQB), regional (MMCD), federal (NOAA, USGS, USACoE), and local (cities, counties, watershed districts) government, the University of Minnesota, NGOs, and the private sector. We meet regularly in open meetings and support a listserv (through the U of MN) and a Ning social networking site.

Upcoming Events:

Recent CCAWG Activities:


To coordinate investigation and strategic action toward Climate Change Adaptation in Minnesota by assessing needs, facilitating collaboration, advancing research, serving as a clearinghouse for data and research results, communicating policy and management recommendations, providing education, informing decision-makers and the public, and evaluating outcomes.

Working principles:

  • Work collaboratively across local, state, provincial, and federal agencies; research & outreach institutions; NGOs; and the private sector
  • Create effective interdisciplinary teams to address tasks/issues/components
  • Engage leadership within agencies and legislature to build support
  • Identify strengths and responsibilities of partners to increase effectiveness and minimize duplication
  • Be open to new partnerships that advance our goal
  • Meet regularly and share opportunities, results, plans, and priorities.


  • Priority 1 - Assessing Needs

    Goal: Identify and prioritize needs and opportunities for collaboration, research, monitoring, education, policy development, and outreach.

    • Strategy - Synthesize existing Climate Change Adaptation work conducted locally, regionally, and globally; particularly as it applies to Minnesota
    • Strategy - Identify gaps and needs in conjunction with local governments and practitioners to address local issues, including practical guidance for management practices, civic engagement, and long-range planning
    • Strategy - Determine priorities to strengthen collaboration between agencies, researchers, education providers, and decision-makers around Climate Change Adaptation
    • Strategy - Identify basic and applied research needs and opportunities related to climate change adaptation for a comprehensive research agenda including priority-setting, potential collaboration, and funding opportunities for climate change adaptation research
    • Strategy - Evaluate the need for local monitoring data to be used in climate change adaptation research and work with state agencies and local units of government (e.g. watershed districts and watershed management organizations) to develop and expand a monitoring network for acquiring, consolidating, and re-purposing data for use in climate change models, and trend assessment
    • Strategy - Identify education and outreach needs for general and target audiences and determine CCAWGs role in providing or coordinating such education
    • Strategy - Identify state and local policy needs and support development of such policy through appropriate agencies
  • Priority 2 - Advancing Climate Change Adaptation research to address identified needs

    Goal: Facilitate research collaboration

    • Strategy - Identify financial resources and partnerships to perform inter-disciplinary work
    • Strategy - Connect potential partnerships and research teams around common themes or research needs
    • Strategy - Educate funding agencies (e.g. LCCMR, BWSR, etc.) about climate change adaptation to enhance their ability to select qualified teams for future grant opportunities

    Goal: Share ongoing research, data (as appropriate), and results to maximize exposure and increase collaboration

    • Strategy - Coordinate forums, meetings, or online venues to share current and pending research activities
    • Strategy - Post links to research on the Climate Change Adaptation Work Group web-site for others to access
  • Priority 3 - Serving as a clearinghouse for educational materials, monitoring data, research, and events

    Goal: Increase the reach and effectiveness of Climate Change Adaptation work by developing a network of interested agencies, organizations, and companies

    • Strategy - Create a web presence to compile and share existing resources and serve as a basis for awareness and networking
    • Strategy - Recruit interested partners throughout government, education, and the private sector to come together through an online site, meetings, and informal networking events to share their knowledge and interests
    • Strategy - Scope and update resources, contacts, research, events, and materials in formats that are easily accessible and current
    • Strategy - Evaluate public sources of information and provide recommendations on which are most accurate, current, and effective
    • Strategy - Address technical content, research results, and monitoring data, as well as social dimensions such as engaging citizens and educators, inspiring behavior change, and increasing community action
  • Priority 4 - Communicating Policy and Management Recommendations

    Goal: Work with appropriate agencies to develop Climate Change Adaptation policies and management recommendations for state and local authorities

    • Strategy - Produce a report for Minnesota, synthesizing climate change adaptation including needs, potential impacts, and recommendations (parallel to the MNCCAG report addressing mitigation)
    • Strategy - Meet with other state climate change adaptation groups in the midwest (e.g. Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts) to learn what they are doing and see how similar policies would fit Minnesota.
    • Strategy - Provide a forum through which agencies can identify and evaluate models for policies and practices that have been implemented elsewhere and share their policies and management decisions
    • Strategy - Provide recommendations to the EQB on content for climate change in the EAW/EIS permitting program
  • Priority 5 - Providing Education

    Goal: Engage the public in climate change adaptation, identify outreach needs and opportunities, and promote practices that individuals and communities can undertake to adapt to climate change

    • Strategy - Host annual conference/workshop on the topic of climate change adaptation
    • Strategy - Celebrate successes with visibility, awards, etc.
  • Priority 6 - Informing Decision-Makers and the Public

    Goal: Coordinate easily-available information to support decision makers, researchers, natural resource professionals, and local units of government to formulate effective strategies for adapting to the effects of climate change

    • Strategy - Apply vulnerability assessments, models, and other research to Minnesota resources (ecological, economic, social) to develop management recommendations for practitioners and policy recommendations for decision-makers
  • Priority 7 - Evaluating Outcomes

    Goal: Develop and apply performance indicators to identify progress on climate change adaptation

    • Strategies


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