Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Toolkit

Posted on: 12/03/2013 - Updated on: 2/27/2020

Posted by

Rachel Gregg


EcoAdapt and Freshwater Future are committed to help Great Lakes communities respond to the effects of climate change impacts, and have developed the Great Lakes Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit with funding support from the Kresge Foundation. The toolkit is one component of Freshwater Future’s Great Lakes Community Climate Program, which includes workshops to train community groups on how to consider climate change impacts in their work and a grants program to assist with implementation of on-the-ground projects.

The toolkit is divided in the following six parts:

  1. Improve Your Project's Success: Consider Climate Change and Adaptation: A primer on climate change and adaptation which includes climate variability and change in the Great Lakes region, climate impacts to plants, animals, and people, and a getting started on climate adaptation section.
  2. Four case studies on how community groups are incorporating climate change into their work, including the economic impacts and opportunities, community values, community engagement and action, and laws and regulations. (1) Protecting the Local Economy from Climate Impacts; (2) Starting Climate Adaptation Where Community Concerns Exist; (3) Bringing Stormwater Management Down to the Neighborhood; (4) Using Legal Tools to Protect Lakes and Rivers from Climate Impacts
  3. Talking Climate: 10 Do's and Don'ts of Discussing Climate Change: A communications guidance on issues and success.
  4. What Does a More Variable Climate Mean for Great Lakes Communities: Why a more variable climate matters to your community.
  5. Great Lakes Climate Change Fact Sheets: Information on specific Great Lakes climate impacts (air temperature, lake levels, precipitation) and understanding the difference between mitigation and adaptation.
  6. EcoAdapt's Climate Vulnerability Assessment Quick Guide: A guide to assist with vulnerability assessments.

The toolkit is available for free by contacting Freshwater Future at (231) 348-8200. For more information on the Great Lakes Community Climate Program visit


Community groups and planners, local/state/regional planners, water resource managers, educators


Ann Baughman Lara Hansen

Managing Organizations

Freshwater Future helps people protect the Great Lakes.  We do this by providing funding, technical and communications assistance to groups working to protect and restore their rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater in the Great Lakes region.

Freshwater Future's mission is to build effective community-based initiatives to protect and restore the water quality of the Great Lakes basin.

EcoAdapt is at the center of climate change adaptation innovation. We provide support, training, and assistance to make conservation and management less vulnerable and more Climate Savvy. Over the past 200 years, great strides have been made in the world of conservation and now all of that is at risk because of climate change. EcoAdapt is working to ensure the success of these past efforts by delivering a framework for climate adaptation.