Marquette recognized for climate change research and efforts

Published: Sep. 16, 2019 at 4:51 PM EDT
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The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) premiered their new website on Monday, titled “How We Respond” which showcases 18 communities across the nation and how they're reacting to climate change.

due to their ongoing project to adapt to and manage the negative effects of climate change.

"We've been working with stakeholders to really identify what the primary impacts from climate change are expected to be here in the Marquette area and then actually trying to tie those, or map those, to human health impacts,” said Senior Extension Educator for the Michigan State University Extension, Brad Neumann.

The Marquette County Climate and Health Adaptation project includes studies on storm water drainage and how warmer temperatures and more precipitation can impact drinking water.

Scientists say drainage ditches foster the perfect environment for bacteria growth and contamination buildup.

"The Superior Watershed Partnership, through beach monitoring, has identified higher levels of E. coli during the summer months on hot days,” Neumann said.

Neumann added that the E. coli, along with other contaminants, are flushed from drainage systems into lakes and streams during heavy rainfall. One of the effects of climate change, Neumann said, is more precipitation and heavier rainfall.

Possible solutions to the drainage situation, as outlined in the Marquette County Climate and Health Adaptation Project Guidebook, include incorporating “green infrastructure” into drainage system and changing development codes.

"Those codes help us by creating buffers around our riparian areas, our streams, that will require greater space between any development between those lands and river areas,” said Marquette City Planner, David Stensaas.

Another focus of the project is the increase of insects due to warmer temperatures and the risk of catching vector-borne diseases from them.

Insects such as ticks and mosquitoes prefer warm, humid locations.

"As more mosquitoes and ticks are in the environment, there's a greater chance for people to come in contact with them and contract a disease such as Lyme Disease or West Nile from the bite of these arthropods,” said Senior Environmental Epidemiologist for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Lorri Cameron.

The project also focuses on heat-related illnesses, the impact of toxic algal blooms due to climate change, and how climate change causes flooding and droughts.

You can read more about the Marquette County Climate and Health Adaptation Project by clicking