Rivers, Watersheds, and Climate Change Adaptation!

Episode 8: Rivers, watersheds and climate change adaptation!  

America Adapts talks with Watershed/Adaptation Planner Rebecca Esselman of the Huron River Watershed Council.  Learn how HRWC became one of the first local watershed groups to bring in adaptation staff.  Many river advocates have long argued that watersheds should be the landscape model for conservation planning. Listen is as Doug talks with Rebecca on the challenges and opportunities that local watershed groups have when dealing with climate change adaptation.  The Huron River is a major urban river, part of the greater Detroit watershed.  Rebecca describes working with local watershed stakeholders on how they need to focus on future threats like climate change and what that means for present day decision making. Also hear more about some of their current adaptation projects, one of which is funded by the Doris Duke Foundation’s Adaptation Fund.  Rebecca also proposes developing a “climate network” of local groups to keep the momentum going on existing efforts and to develop new partnerships.  Rebecca also discusses the struggles of identifying funding streams for inland landscapes since so much adaptation emphasis has been placed on coastal areas in recent years. This podcast highlights the issue that adaptation planning must be local if we were are going to get the public behind these efforts.

Additional Resources:

Creating Climate Resilient Communities


Preparing the Huron River for Climate Change


Rebecca mentioned “GLISA” in the podcast and wanted me to share this information.

Great Lakes Integrated Sciences +Assessments


GLISA is hosting a conference in October listeners in the region may be interested in Great Lakes Adaptation Forumhttp://graham.umich.edu/climate/forum-2016October 5-7th in Ann Arbor.

From Rebecca! Take her up on her cider offer!

“If listeners attend the Great Lakes Adaptation Forum, they can contact me and I will take them out for a cider!”

Also mentioned by Rebecca:

WCS Climate Adaptation Fund

Good site for examples of adaptation projects and a potential source of funding


Bio on Rebecca:

Rebecca leads HRWC’s work in climate adaptation and water conservation. Prior to joining HRWC, Rebecca spent ten years with the Nature Conservancy working in conservation planning and knowledge sharing. Rebecca holds a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology from the University of Georgia where she focused on watershed issues and a Bachelor of Science in Botany from Michigan State University. She joined HRWC in 2012 and lives near the Huron River in Dexter.


Want more America Adapts? Here are three convenient ways to download the podcast:

  1. Visit iTunes and search for “America Adapts.”

  2. Browse Google Music Player using the same search term (“America Adapts”)

  3. Find a direct feed to the podcast on this website: America Adapts.