Researchers at Michigan State University are launching a new study to help the Grand Traverse Bay region better adapt to climate change. It’s funded in part by Michigan Sea Grant and it’s expected to take two-to-three years to complete.
Mark Breederland, educator with Sea Grant Extension in Traverse City, says climate change is likely to bring not only warming but also greater variability in weather patterns. That might mean bigger storms and greater variations in water levels out on the bay.
That brings questions for infrastructure design, as examples, for storm water runoff systems and marinas.
“How can we design these marinas to handle a larger water level variation than what we have had, maybe lower lows, we’re heading towards some very low lows right now,” he asks. “And, potentially the water levels can come on up. So just that whole variability.”
Breederland says researchers will examine data already available and talk with local community members about how to best proceed with the study. The research will look at likely scenarios and suggest solutions.