The services provided here by the M&M Area Community Foundation (MMACF) continues to grow. Hundreds of people and scores of organizations have benefited from the generosity of the Community Foundation.

In a unique move, the MMACF has linked up with four other Community Foundations in the Lake Superior and Upper Peninsula of Michigan region to launch an action plan aimed at protecting its water resources by limiting the impact of extreme weather events. Known as the “Resilient Future Project,” the plan will seek to build a community of civic and municipal leaders with the vision and drive to identify and implement strategies to better prepare for severe storm activities. The newly formed coalition even extended an invitation to citizens to participate in a brief six-question survey related to the action plan. The deadline for the survey has expired.

The devastating effects of severe weather events brought the importance of the lakes and their fragility into sharp focus. There are few communities prepared to meet the challenges, thus sapping local resources to manage the destruction.

The M&M Foundation is working with Community Foundation of Marquette County (Michigan), Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula and Delta County (Escanaba area), Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation and Keweenaw Community Foundation to share in the same mission of improving the health and well-being of the Great Lakes communities. Together, the agencies are working to forge a single coordinated response to adapt to extreme weather events.

Community Foundations, supported by sound research and the guidance of citizens, municipal and civic leaders, will join forces to address these challenges.

Beginning this year, five communities have banded together to begin the process. They include Duluth, Minn., and the Michigan communities of Menominee, Marquette, Houghton and Les Cheneaux. Another five communities will join the second phase of the project later.

The participants will proceed on a $300,000 grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, Ralph Wilson Foundation and Kresge Foundation, plus a $200,000 match to help kick-start the project. Furthermore, the foundations have also organized a team of qualified experts to provide the human and technical resources necessary to support each community.

There is much more to this interesting and complex project than we’ve mentioned here. The Foundations will be releasing more detailed and updated information in weeks to come. Transparency will be a critical component in keeping the public informed and supportive of this unparalleled project as we move forward.

We are convinced the pre-planning for this endeavor was time-consuming and filled with suggestions and different opinions, but apparently the parties are satisfied that they have the building blocks in place to achieve a successful outcome. We wish all Community Foundations enrolled in this project well as they move forward. We look forward to working with them in keeping our citizens enlightened on the project.