The City of Duluth’s stormwater utility partners with many organizations, both private groups and governmental agencies. Collaborating with others allows us to share resources and save money. By bringing everyone together, a consistent message is created to avoid confusion. Having a wide variety of agencies working together also allows us to share expertise in our specialized areas.
The Regional Stormwater Protection Team (RSPT) was formed in 2002 by 26 regional communities & agencies who came together to provide mutual support, education and outreach regarding protection of their shared Western Lake Superior Watershed. The all-volunteer organization has pooled resources and successfully attracted funding from several granting agencies, which has allowed implementation of a multi-year media campaign, 2005 and 2007 Watershed Festivals, representation at regional events, home shows, and development of numerous presentations and publications. Many member organizations have been recognized as leaders in their protection of water resources, receiving regional, state and national recognition.
The Duluth Urban Watershed Advisory Committee (DUWAC) initially met in 2015 and continues today as a Voluntary Cooperation Organization that encourages management of local streams on a watershed basis. An initial action of the committee was to create a vision statement to help guide the group, which is “Our water resources and associated ecosystems become healthier and more resilient through public engagement and local government collaboration.” This statement will assist in community involvement helping to develop priorities for cooperative watershed management. To formalize the structure of the committee, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was created and adopted by all member communities in 2018. One of the goals of the Duluth Urban Watershed Advisory Committee is to identify and prioritize projects within and between communities, maximizing efficiency to ensure that communities are getting the biggest impact from their investments. Other benefits of DUWAC are to improve our community’s understanding and knowledge about water resources and to help identify options to update local codes and ordinances that will improve water resources within our watersheds. A secondary goal of the committee is to recognize efficiencies and opportunities to share expertise between its members.