UMRBA Launching a New Project: Building Knowledge to Support Climate Resilience

UMRBA and two other organizations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota (IonE), are launching a new project this fall to explore how to enhance climate resilience in communities along the Upper Mississippi River from Minnesota to Missouri.

“The project is an excellent example of expanding the partnership among local, state and federal agencies to reduce risk and enhance resilience in communities within the Upper Mississippi River Basin,” said UMRBA Executive Director Kirsten Wallace. “We are particularly focused on engaging with communities that have not previously had the resources and capacity to enhance their own resilience to floods and droughts.”

This new project defines “climate resilience” as the ability for communities in the river basin to anticipate, prepare, and recover from extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts.  Not all communities in the basin have the same capacities and resources to anticipate and prepare for these events.  The project will identify less-resourced vulnerable communities and focus on ways to enhance their climate resilience.

NOAA and IOE scientists will be translating the most current climate models into predictions about river flows (floods and droughts) that vulnerable communities can use to anticipate and reduce their risk.  The project will identify how the partnership can reach out to vulnerable communities, build their knowledge, and support them as they increase their climate resilience.

The project was developed in response to feedback received during a NOAA-hosted 2021 Climate and Equity Roundtable focused on flooding and resilience in the Mississippi River Basin.  This was one of eight roundtables hosted by NOAA across the country to better understand the issues vulnerable communities face regarding climate change.  NOAA is providing project funding that will flow through the Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH) and will be administered by IOE.

NOAA press release about the project:

Contact:  Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA Executive Director (

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photograph of Coast Guard Reservist Lt. Ash Thorne who wades out into a water-covered driveway that his Disaster Area Response Team (DART) had crossed to rescue a couple trapped in their home by floodwater April 28, 2011.