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in the Great Lakes Region

What's New | Overview | General Resources | Education
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What's New
Local historians locate Lake Michigan shipwreck
Merrillville Post-Tribune (9/19)
A group believes it may have found the remains of a ship that carried escaping slaves to freedom before it was destroyed by slave hunters on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Grant will push conservation of Great Lakes
Marquette Mining Journal (9/19)
Two agencies have been awarded a grant to develop a strategy to promote the restoration of the Great Lakes through hands-on stewardship and community action.

EDITORIAL: Isle Royale joins battle against a lake threat
Detroit Free Press (9/19)
Banning ballast water dumping near Isle Royale may not keep VHS away forever, but it should slow down the spread to spawning locations within the park.

Fewer freighters are traversing the Saginaw River as the economy and water levels keep them at bay
The Bay City Times (9/18)
As of Monday, only 172 freighters have come up the Saginaw River this season, a drop from 244 in 2005 and 198 in 2006.

Wind turbines on the horizon
The Sarnia Observer (9/18)
Communities considering building wind turbines along Lake Huron are researching the idea by visiting areas that have already benefited from turbines.

Hawk-eyed spotters flock to mass migration
The Toronto Star (9/17)
Officials counted 24,000 hawks flying past the north shore of Lake Erie as the birds began their annual migration from Ontario to Central America.

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Overview
The Great Lakes are largely closed basins, so their waters are heavily influenced by interactions at the land-water interface. Consequently, changes in land-use patterns throughout the Great Lakes watershed since the early 1800s have exerted a tremendous effect on the lakes by supplying nutrients, sediments, toxic contaminants and wastes via tributary streams, rivers and estuaries.
 
This coastal boundary represents not only a geologically, chemically and biologically dynamic environment, it also is the site of some of the most intense economic, social and political pressures within the Great Lakes basin. Throughout the Great Lakes, today's estuarine and coastal environments are often characterized as areas of intense development, urbanization and industrialization; areas of high biological productivity and natural diversity; and areas of high recreational value. Coastal and estuarine ecosystems are thus regions of multiple, and often competing, resource uses.

References: University of Wisconsin Sea Grant, Research in Estuarine & Coastal Processes, 1994-1996

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General Resources
A Synthesis of Major Topics in the Lake Michigan Coastal Area
Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
This dynamic document presents issues of the Lake Michigan coastal region, such as water quality, economic development, and coastal zone management, and describes activites currently underway in Northwest Indiana.

Index of Watershed Indicators
U.S. EPA, Surf Your Watershed
A compilation of information on the "health" of U.S. rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and coastal areas.

National Estuarine Research Reserve System
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of protected areas established for long-term research, education and stewardship.

Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
OCRM provides national leadership, strategic direction, and guidance to state and territory coastal programs and estuarine research reserves.

Research in Estuarine & Coastal Processes, 1994-1996
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant
Developing the scientific basis for sound coastal zone management practice is an underlying goal of research within this subprogram.

Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil, Lake Michigan
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Environmental Sensitivity Index maps, for the shorelines of Indiana and Illinois, include information for three main components: shoreline habitats, sensitive biological resources, and human use resources.

State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC)
This biennial conference, hosted by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada, provides a forum for exchange of information on the ecological condition of the Great Lakes and surrounding lands. Plenary presentations and proceedings from the previous conferences can be downloaded or viewed online. Register now for SOLEC 2000: "Implementing Great Lakes Indicators," Oct. 17-19 in Hamilton, Ontario.

State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference 2000
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
Proceedings of the October 2000 conference on Great Lakes ecosystem health as well as the presentations made at the conference and Selection of Indicators for Great Lakes Ecosystem Health.

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Education
TEACH Great Lakes: Shoreline Geology
From the wetlands along Lake Ontario's shore, to the sand dunes along Lake Michigan, to the rocky shore of Lake Superior, the Great Lakes shoreline abounds in diversity.

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State Management Programs
Indiana Coastal Coordination Program
Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program
Minnesota Coastal Program
New York Coastal Management Program
Ohio Coastal Management Program
Pennsylvania Coastal Zone Management Program
Wisconsin Coastal Management Program

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Shore Protection
Coastal Engineering
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District
Provides information on low-cost shore protection, Great Lakes erosion and a glossary of terms related to coastal engineering.

Coastal Engineering Advisory Services Program
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
The programs goals are to develop a method for more precise, cost-effective measurement of the areas of contaminated sediment and to provide an improved, more accurate method to evaluate the risk to coastal properties from high water and storms.

Coastal Zone Information
Environment Canada
Includes Canadian Great Lakes shoreline classification, coastal zone database, water levels information.(Search for "Coastal Zone" information.)

Low-Cost Shore Protection
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District
Learn about low-cost methods to protect shoreline from erosion, including vegetation, perched beaches, breakwaters, beach fill and more.

Minnesota Shoreland Management Resource Guide
The mission of this online portal is to empower individuals to adopt practices to protect Minnesota's shorelands and waters. The site contains scientific and technical background, quick and easy answers (FAQs), highlights of citizen action, and contact information for Minnesota counties.

Shore Protection and Restoration
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Great Lakes Regional Headquarters

The Great Lakes Heritage Coast Project
A centerpiece of Ontario's Living Legacy strategy, the Great Lakes Heritage Coast includes all the Ontario coastline of Lake Superior, the north shore of the St. Mary's River, and the coast of Lake Huron to the eastern coast of Georgian Bay: more than 1,800 miles (2,900 km) of spectacular landscapes and shoreline.

Twenty Frequently Asked Questions about Great Lakes Water Levels and Coastal Erosion
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
Answers questions about lake levels, shore erosion and coastal flooding, and shore protection.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Agencies and Organizations, Coastal Zones
GLIN: Dredging in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Land Use in the Great Lakes Region
Great Lakes BeachCast (leave GLIN)

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Updated: October 23, 2017
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