Green Infrastructure Moves Toward the Center

Fall is always a busy season which, for me, generally includes a disorienting amount of travel and meetings, all of which is intensified by the exciting conversations and insightful people I meet along the way.

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Why Isn't Our Water That Clean?

I recently returned from one of those magical summer vacations, this one catalyzed by the goal of reconnecting with Ingrid and Signe, our exchange student ‘daughters’, in their home countries of Norway and Denmark.  I’m embarrassed to say that, with our family’s hectic schedules, the only advance planning we did focused on fundamentals like plane tickets and passports. The rest of our research was done literally ‘on the fly’, hovering over the Atlantic Ocean.  Fortunately for us, it all worked wonderfully well.

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Stormwater: Up-Close and Personal

Guest post by Wingspread's Graduate Fellow, Laura Maker

Laura Maker, Wingspread Graduate FellowI've had the pleasure and fortune to spend my summer working at the Johnson Foundation, where for the last two months I've accumulated a great cache of hands-on learning experiences to take with me when I go. But last week I was able to take experiential learning to a new level when the subject of a Wingspread Briefing, stormwater, came literally flooding into my life and home.

On Wednesday the foundation hosted a briefing on Stormwater and Climate Change, presented by David Liebl, Stormwater Specialist with the UW-Cooperative Extension. David talked about the impacts climate change is expected to have on coastal communities, including the many Wisconsin cities and towns on the Great Lakes, as well as those on rivers and smaller lakes throughout the state. Although it's impossible to predict exactly how a warming planet will affect local areas, one thing that seems certain is rain events will become less predictable and more extreme. In the coming years and decades we can expect to see more droughts and more severe rain events and floods than ever before.

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Remarks on Climate Change Adaptation

On July 15th, 2010 I had the opportunity to address the White House's Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force during their meeting in Chicago. Here are my remarks, based entirely on the input we've heard through The Johnson Foundation Freshwater Forum

Good afternoon, and thank you Chair Sutley and members of the task force for the opportunity to speak to you. I’d like to first commend you for taking on this critical issue of climate change adaptation, and leading our federal agencies to ensure we get out in front of this challenge.
The Johnson Foundation recognizes that water – in all its shapes and forms – is absolutely fundamental to the security and wellbeing of our nation. To some extent, water has become invisible to us – especially when, compared historically or to developing nations, ours is relatively clean, safe, plentiful and cheap. Hence we take it for granted, ignore the warning signs, and assume it will always be there for us.
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