Great Lakes Coastal Storms Program

The Great Lakes Coastal Storms Program is a regional effort led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to make Great Lakes coastal communities safer and more resilient to storm and weather hazards and climate change. Partnering with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, the Coastal Storms Program is currently funding projects in the Great Lakes with the goals of:
  • improving dangerous current and wave observations, modeling, forecasting/warnings and risk communication;
  • addressing the impacts of stormwater on natural resources and promoting best management practices;
  • enhancing shoreline mapping, visualization and management; and
  • promoting hazard mitigation and community resilience.


Lake Michigan’s Most Popular Weather Buoy Brought Ashore for Winter (10/23/14)
Launched in 2012, the Port Sheldon buoy has quickly become the leader in weather information in the Great Lakes. Ed Verhamme, project engineer atLimnoTech, noted that, “the Port Sheldon unit is the most popular weather site in Lake Michigan with more than 1 million requests for information this year, double the next highest site." Supported through a grant from the Coastal Storms Program and through the Great Lakes Observing System, the buoy measures wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, water temperature, wave height, period and direction. It also has a webcam. The buoy was removed from the lake on October 22, 2014. Read the full article or check out the buoy data portal.

Lake Michigan Death Spurs Action on Rip Current Awareness (8/24/14)

Spurred by the tragic death of a Port Washington, WI high schooler in 2012, UW-Madison coastal hazards researcher, Dr. Chin Wu, is developing a warning system that will help raise awareness and prevent deaths from dangerous rip currents in Great Lakes beach communities. Through a $200,000 Coastal Storms Program grant, Wu will be installing thermal imaging cameras on two Lake Michigan beaches that will provide real-time rip current information to beach managers. See the full story

Great Lakes Mobile Beach App to be Enhanced (05/29/14)

The Great Lakes Commission receives funds to develop iOS version ofmyBeachCast through Coastal Storms Program, in partnership with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network. The Great Lakes mobile beach app provides updates to latest swim advisories, weather conditions and hazard alerts for more than 2,000 beaches in the region. See the press release and download the android app.

Lake Erie Weather Buoy Deployed Off Presque Isle (05/06/14)

Regional Science Consortium Tom Ridge Environmental Center deploys its new weather buoy funded through the Great Lakes Observing System, in partnership with the Coastal Storms Program. Watch the video. Check out the consortium’s real-time buoy information.

Port Sheldon, Michigan, Welcomes Back its Offshore Weather Buoy (05/05/14)

Lake Michigan swimming season still a ways off! Local Storm Team 8 features the Port Sheldon Buoy weather cam, watch the video. The Port Sheldon buoy is owned and operated by LimnoTech and supported by the Great Lakes Observing System in partnership with the Coastal Storms Program.

Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Projects

Dangerous Current and Wave Risk Communication

Great Lakes Coastal Hazards Planning, Mitigation and Resilience Survey

Small Grant Projects

myBeachCast: Improving Great Lakes Beach Hazard Awareness

Implementing Dangerous Currents Best Practices

Development of an Observation, Forecasting, and Warning System for Rip Currents at Three Beaches in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior

Flood Smart Communties

Increasing Climate Resiliency in Coastal Ohio Using Green Infrastructure

A Model for Community-Supported Observations: City of South Haven, MI

Flood Resiliency: Evaluating Flood Hazard Identification Tools in Two Lake Champlain Basin Sub-watersheds

Development of a Coastal Storm Preparation, Adaptation, and Response Tool for Great Lakes Marinas

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Planning for Lucas County

Community-based Research to Understand Lake Superior Coastal Storms Risk and Vulnerability at Au Train, MI