Coastal Communities

Wisconsin  Sea Grant applies technical expertise and geographic information systems to provide advice on issues related to coastal hazards and watershed planning along Wisconsin's Great Lakes shorelines.



News

Wisconsin Sea Grant Assists With Clean Marina Certification
Wisconsin got its 20th Clean Marina in early June when the South Shore Yacht Club captured the designation because it is following green practices. Read more...


Community Economics

The Economic Impacts of Restoring Wisconsin's Sheboygan River
An economic impact study was developed to assess activity related to restoration and remediation of the Sheboygan River. This study, initiated by the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, was intended to develop baseline data for 2013 with similar studies planned in 2015 and 2017. Read more...


Great Lakes Coastal Storms Program

Great Lakes Coastal Storms Program
The Great Lakes Coastal Storms Program is a regional effort led by the National and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to make Great Lakes communities safer and more resilient to coastal hazards. Read more...


Guiding Principle on Coastal Outreach

Role of Wisconsin Sea Grant in Coastal Areas
What is the guiding principle of Wisconsin Sea Grant work in coastal communities? That answer lies in a situational analysis. Read more...


Community Planning

Great Lakes Coastal Community Planning Resource
The Great Lakes Coastal Community Planning Resource provides a toolkit to support comprehensive planning and sustainable development along the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior coasts of Wisconsin. Read more...


Coastal Community Planning and Development Reading List
This list covers classic planning literature and general planning texts, smart growth and new urbanism, environmental planning, waterfront and coastal planning and Great Lakes issues. Read more...


Coastal Heritage Tourism

Wisconsin Coastal Guide
This interactive site details cultural and natural attractions along Wisconsin's Great Lakes coasts. Read more...


Coastal Hazards

Visualizing Coastal Processes
Animation, aerial photography, pictures, charts and text presented here go a long way toward explaining the technical reasons behind coastal processes. Read more...


Videos

Revitalizing Local Waterfront Economies
This video outlines the Great Lakes Legacy Act and highlights benefits it brings to communities. Read more...


Dr. David Hart: Specialist in Geographic Information Systems
Dr. David Hart tells us about his job at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, including his efforts with the Wisconsin Coastal Atlas. Read more...


Wisconsin Coastal Guide
See what there is to see along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan and Lake Superior shores. Read more...


Beyond the Usual Suspects
E. coli bacteria sometimes contaminates the waters of Bradford Beach in Milwaukee. Where does it come from? How can it be reduced? Dr. Sandra MacLellan cracks the case. Read more...


Increasing Safety at Sea Caves
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has become a world-class destination for sea kayaking, but some of the most popular attractions can also be treacherous. Under certain conditions, the sea caves can quickly change from awe-inspiring to terrifying. A new Sea Grant system improves safety. Read more...


Design and Evaluation of Coastal Web Atlases
A presentation by Steve Ventura at a meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Integrating Great Lakes Data from Distributed Sources: David Hart
A presentation by David Hart at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Use Case Discussion Reports
Discussion panel reports regarding use cases presented at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Integrating Great Lakes Data from Distributed Sources: David Blodgett
A presentation by David Blodgett at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Integrating Great Lakes Data from Distributed Sources: Adam Mednick
A presentation by Adam Mednick at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Impacts and Outcomes of Mature Coastal Web Atlases: Washington
A presentation by Kathy Taylor and LIz O'Dea at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Impacts and Outcomes of Mature Coastal Web Atlases: Virginia
A presentation by Marcia Berman at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Impacts and Outcomes of Mature Coastal Web Atlases: Oregon
A presentation by Tanya Haddad at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Impacts and Outcomes of Mature Coastal Web Atlases: Ohio
A presentation by Brian George at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Impacts and Outcomes of Mature Coastal Web Atlases: Maryland
A presentation by Chris Cortina at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Impacts and Outcomes of Mature Coastal Web Atlases: California
A presentation by John Helly at the meeting of the Great Lakes section of the International Coastal Atlas Network, Sept. 13-15, 2010, Madison, Wis. Read more...


Historic Marker Unveiled at Fox River Lock
A new historic marker, part of Wisconsin's Maritime Trails, is unveiled at the Appleton Lock No. 2 on the Fox River, May 16, 2008. Read more...


Comments From Cancun 2010
UW Nelson Institute Professor Cal DeWitt and Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Associate Director Jim Hurley were accredited observers at the 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico. Hurley here offers a few impressions of the experience. Read more...


A Message From the Director
Sea Grant Director Anders Andren talks up the program, including its work on coastal communities. Read more...


Research

Extreme Events, Watershed Loadings and Climate Change: Implications for the Management and Long Term Health of the Green Bay, Lake Michigan, Ecosystem

Michael Zorn, UW-Green Bay, (920) 465-5758, zornm@uwgb.edu

Green Bay, Lake Michigan, is severely affected by excessive nutrient inputs from its upstream watershed, which increases the risk of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and other problems. The percentage of blue-green algae in phytoplankton in the Lower Fox River and Green Bay is expected to decrease if TMDL goals for total phosphorus are met. However, current management plans acknowledge that the relationship between phosphorus levels and blue-green algae are not well defined for this system and that other factors may be important. Additionally, nutrient and suspended solids inputs are extremely dependent on large precipitation events (which cause pulse loading), and climate change projections predict an increase in these events by ~50%. The researchers plan to understand the dynamics of the pulse delivery of nutrients to Green Bay and their influence on structuring the algal community by deploying high frequency, in-situ nutrient and pigment sensors at strategic locations in Lake Winnebago, the Lower Fox River, and Green Bay. (R/HCE-25)




Development of Geo-Indicators for Assessment of Coastal Bluff Ecosystem in Lake Michigan for Regional Integrated Bluff Management (IBM)

Chin Wu, UW-Madison, (608) 263-3078, chinwu@engr.wisc.edu

Coastal bluffs along the Great Lakes are a sensitive landscape feature, often containing both vital shoreline habitat at the bluff toe and urbanized development at the crest. Sediments in the coastal bluff environment (CBE) play an important role in ecosystem function. Movements of sediment are constantly altered by natural climate factors and anthropogenic coastal development, making a sediment budget accounting for sources, sinks and pathways of sediment transport critical. In this project we will develop three sets of geo-indicators to parameterize the CBE, quantify coastal processes on a regional sediment budget and characterize the health or function services of the CBE. The resilience of geo-indicators in response to stressors like coastal development and climate change would be examined on three sites of varying urbanization along the Wisconsin coast of Lake Michigan. The geo-indicators would help coastal managers effectively assess the health of the coastal bluff ecosystem for regional integrated bluff management (IBM) along Lake Michigan. (R/RCE-02)




A Tale of Two Beaches: Bridging the Research and Policy Gap to Improve Urban Beach Ecosystem Health

Sandra McLellan, UW-Milwaukee, (414) 382-1700, mclellan@uwm.edu

Milwaukee’s South Shore Beach on Lake Michigan requires major investments ($1-5 million) in order to improve water quality. The beach can serve as an excellent case study for understanding how communities can address severely degraded beaches by incorporating sound science and policy into coastal management.  In this project, we will examine the barriers to this process and fill gaps in information needed to estimate water quality improvement at South Shore Beach under different remediation scenarios. We will also work directly with stakeholders to transfer scientific information and policy recommendations to create a decision-making framework where costs can be weighed against benefits. Bradford Beach, which has benefitted from more than one million dollars in improvements, will serve as a comparison to quantify the economic value of a healthy beach ecosystem. The main outcome from this project will be development of guidance for decision making when dealing with highly degraded urban beaches that need considerable investments to make them safe and enjoyable recreational swimming beaches. (R/HCE-15)




Algal Bioremediation of Wastewater Inputs to Great Lakes Ecosystems

Erica Young, UW-Milwaukee, (414) 229-3257, ebyoung@uwm.edu

Future sustainability of coastal communities demands a reduction of nutrients in effluents from wastewater treatment plants, and population growth is increasing pressure on communities’ infrastructure to manage and treat waste water. Algal species like Cladophora can tolerate and take up high concentrations of nutrients, and this can be exploited for nutrient remediation of wastewater. The researchers have already shown in laboratory tests that Cladophora can deplete sewerage effluent of soluble reactive phosphorus to <5 ug/L and also provide a good biomass feedstock for biofuels production, offering combined sustainability benefits for use in remediation of wastewater. This project aims to develop algal nutrient remediation of wastewater that will provide cost savings to coastal communities and offer more sustainable options to improve lake ecosystem health. (R/SCD-06)



Assessment of Beach Remediation Efforts at Select Lake Michigan Beaches

Gregory Kleinheinz, UW-Oshkosh, (920) 424-1100, kleinhei@uwosh.edu

Water quality at more than 30 public beaches in Door County, Wis., has been monitored under the BEACH Act since 2003, using the fecal indicator bacterium (FIB) Escherichia coli (E. coli). Although sanitary survey analyses of these beaches have been performed and several beaches have been redesigned, assessment of the effects of beach redesign on water quality has not been included. This research will assess water quality parameters (E. coli and Enterococci) during wet and dry weather at a newly redesigned Door County beach and a similar beach that has not yet been redesigned. A large historical database of FIB concentrations in beach water exists for these beaches and will be compared to post-redesign FIB concentrations. Since the U.S. EPA plans to implement rapid methods for beach water quality measurements (qPCR for Enterococci), this study also will compare Enterococci concentrations with traditional culture and molecular methods. (R/HCE-13)



Building Blocks of the Heartland: Underwater Investigations of Wisconsin’s Stone Industry

John Broihahn, Wisconsin Historical Society, (608) 264-6496, john.broihahn@wisconsinhistory.org

Nineteenth-century stone quarrying had a lasting effect on the Great Lakes coastline, and today quarries that closed a century ago are readily identifiable. Stone from these quarries often reached market aboard Great Lakes vessels. This project will document two components of the historic stone trade—the S.C. Baldwin, a vessel that served in the stone trade, and the stone quarry piers on Basswood, Hermit and Stockton Islands in the Apostle Islands where such vessels were loaded. Data gathered during the Basswood Island survey will be used to update the current entry on the National Register of Historic Places, and data collected on the S. C. Baldwin, Hermit and Stockton Island sites will be used to evaluate these sites for listing on the register. Collected data will be distributed to professional and public audiences via professional papers, reports, public programs, websites, dive guides, news media and National Park Service publications. (C/RCE-01)




Related Websites

NOAA Land Cover Change Atlas
NOAA provides a visual and detailed map of the U.S. and its coastal counties. It offers data on land cover and land change information on intertidal areas, wetlands and adjacent uplands, updated every five years.
Read more...


Coastal and Waterfront Smart Growth
A new NOAA website provides tools, resources and case studies about how smart-growth strategies can help coastal communities manage development while balancing environmental, economic and quality-of-life issues. Read more...


Wisconsin's Water Library

Wisconsin's Water Library has reading lists on many different topics.  Take a look at the coastal planning and development reading list.

Read more...

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