As 2020 winds down, we asked staff members at Wisconsin Sea Grant what their favorite project was this year. Although work was a bit more challenging than usual due to our altered work circumstances, everyone managed to stay productive, and even find fulfillment.
David Hart, assistant director for extension, said that updating the Wisconsin Coastal Guide was his favorite activity this year. The guide is an interactive story map that lets users explore the coastal and natural heritage of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes. The project, funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, let Hart combine two of his favorite things — making interactive maps and exploring the Great Lakes.
“The guide has so many exciting attractions to discover,” Hart said. “They are organized by tabs at the top of the website. The photo tab leads to scenic photos of all 15 coastal counties taken by nature photographer Bob Hundt. The learn tab features place-based learning activities like clue-driven Great Lakes Quests and maritime history geocaches. The maritime heritage tab lets you explore lighthouses, shipwrecks, fish markets and harbor towns. In the stories tab, you can listen to Voices of the Coast and catch up on Wisconsin Water News podcasts. The recreation tab guides you to 196 beaches and 228 coastal parks, ranging from busy state parks to rustic township parks. The nature tab features state natural areas, wildlife areas and the 37 nature centers near our coasts. The history tab lets you uncover historic sites in the Around the Shores of Lake Superior and Around the Shores of Lake Michigan books by Margaret Beattie Bogue. It also lets you read the 122 historic markers and find 100 museums near our coast. The boating tab locates the 33 certified and pledged clean marinas that are working protect water quality. It also features 112 public boat access sites. With the public access and routes tabs, you can navigate Circle Tour routes, Rustic Roads and Scenic Byways and find the 400+ public access sites along our coasts,” he said.
Be sure to block some time for a deep dive into the guide to get ideas of what to visit on your next trip to the Great Lakes.