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Resilient, Together: FloodWise Communities Learn & Do Cohorts


Start: 1/01/2024
End: 4/31/2026
Client or funder: GLISA
Collaborators: GLISA, Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Michigan Municipal League (MML), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (WDNR) Green Tier Legacy Communities Program


Climate projections for many parts of the U.S. indicate that heavy rainfall and flooding are becoming more frequent and intense. Municipal stormwater systems are critical for managing these flows to protect water supply and system integrity, water quality, and public health and safety. Climate-related precipitation changes will strain these systems, which are often in need of upgrades and repairs, and not built to handle the increased flows projections indicate. Municipal leaders and staff as well as local residents need to be informed in order to adequately mitigate, prepare, and respond to stormwater system vulnerabilities. While a plethora of information, tools, and resources exists, local governments often do not know where to start or how to sift through the available materials. 

Local governments that participate in this project will receive capacity development and technical assistance as they embark on their stormwater vulnerability assessments. At the beginning of the cohort, ICLEI USA will help local governments hit the ground running by providing foundational training and working side-by-side with staff as they begin their assessments. The final assessment deliverable and working through the assessment process alongside ICLEI USA and a group of peer communities will set participants up for success in making their stormwater systems more resilient.

This project is supported by a 2024 small grant from GLISA, NOAA’s Great Lakes CAP/RISA team through NOAA award NA21OAR4310307 to the University of Michigan. To learn more about GLISA’s Small Grants Program, visit their website.

Project Activity

Through this project, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA) will use GLISA’s FloodWise Communities (FWC) program to help Michigan and Wisconsin communities complete stormwater vulnerability assessments. The project will focus on supporting local governments that are under-resourced, or that primarily serve economically disadvantaged or historically marginalized communities. ICLEI USA will provide participants with training on team building, vulnerability assessments, communications, and inclusive community engagement. Then, participants will go through the FWC program and create stormwater vulnerability assessments. Over the course of the cohort, participants can expect to better understand local and regional climate science and impacts, become comfortable using climate and socioeconomic data, incorporate community feedback into their vulnerability assessments, become better prepared to reduce stormwater vulnerabilities through future projects and planning processes, and leverage their assessment to inform local policy and budgets, reduce risk, and seek funding.


Several FWC workshops, training sessions, and 8 stormwater vulnerability assessments

Those Involved

GLISA, Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Green Tier Communities, Michigan Municipal League (MML) + 8 local governments from the states of Michigan and Wisconsin