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Free Webinar Explores Climate Change and Great Lakes Ports

Photo by Chris J. Benson

On March 1, University of Minnesota Sea Grant maritime specialist Dale Bergeron and University of Wisconsin Sea Grant coastal engineer Gene Clark will present an online seminar concerning climate change challenges relevant to Great Lakes ports. Their presentation, Economic Implications of Climate Change Impacts to Great Lakes Ports, Harbors, and Marinas, begins at 11 a.m. CST. Although it is free, participants must pre-register for access to the webinar by Monday, February 28. To register, go to http://changingclimate.osu.edu/webinars/.

"A permanently lowered water level would impact Great Lakes water-dependant businesses and industry more than a permanently higher water level," said Bergeron. He noted that losing vessel draft reduces cargo capacity (a 10-inch water level drop could diminish the carrying potential of a 1000-foot vessel by 3,000 pounds per load). Bergeron also said that lower water levels would damage old timber structures, which rot upon exposure to air.

During the webinar, Bergeron and Clark will discuss:

  • Survey findings about people's awareness of Great Lakes ports.
  • Evaluating how climate change scenarios could economically impact Great Lakes ports and harbors.
  • Case study cost analyses for the ports of Duluth/Superior and Toledo.
  • How the cost evaluation process could apply to climate change concerns associated with storm and wastewater systems.

"The Duluth-Superior Harbor is made up of 58 facilities and over 84-million square feet of federally maintained channel," said Bergeron. "Gene and I developed a cost estimation model that suggests climate patterns resulting in more intense storms and lower water levels could translate into a $100-million headache for the Duluth-Superior Harbor."

Economic Implications of Climate Change Impacts to Great Lakes Ports, Harbors, and Marinas is the ninth webinar in a series produced by The Ohio State University Climate Change Outreach Team, which includes Ohio Sea Grant. The team's goal is to help localize climate change issues by bringing research and resources to residents of the Great Lakes region. For more information about the series, contact Jill Jentes Banicki at Ohio Sea Grant (614-292-8975, jentes.1@osu.edu) or visit the series Web site at: http://changingclimate.osu.edu/webinars/.

Posted on February 24, 2011


This page last modified on February 24, 2011     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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