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Norton Featured in Guardian, Energy & Environment News Stories

Monday, October 14, 2019

U-M Taubman College professor Richard Norton’s expertise on fluctuating Great Lakes water levels and their impact on coastal communities has been cited in multiple news outlets recently. Norton is a professor of urban and regional planning and holds a joint appointment with U-M’s Program in the Environment, through the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

He was featured in a September story in The Guardian about how flooding has affected homes and roads along the coasts of the five Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair in recent years due to a combination of high water levels and massive storm and rain events. The story also featured Richard Rood, professor and Dow Sustainability Distinguished Faculty Fellow in U-M’s College of Engineering.

In August, Norton met a reporter from Energy & Environment News in the Lake Michigan community of Grand Haven, Michigan, to discuss how rising water levels are destabilizing the shoreline and making beachfront homes vulnerable. Rood also was featured in the story. In addition to providing historical perspective and cautions about the future, Norton discussed the problems with homeowners trying to stabilize their dunes and beaches in order to protect their property. "You can save the beach house, or you can save the beach. You can't do both," he said.

In addition, Norton continues to participate in community meetings in Great Lakes coastal towns, helping residents understand what the changing water levels mean and how they can mitigate the impact — including at a September meeting in Port Huron, Michigan, that was covered in the Port Huron Times Herald.