Lake Michigan, the second largest Great Lake by volume with just under 1,180 cubic miles of water, is the only Great Lake entirely within the United States. Approximately 118 miles wide and 307 miles long, Lake Michigan has more than 1,600 miles of shoreline. Averaging 279 feet in depth, the lake reaches 925 feet at its deepest point. The lake's northern tier is in the colder, less developed upper Great Lakes region, while its more temperate southern basin contains the Milwaukee and Chicago metropolitan areas. The drainage basin, approximately twice as large as the 22,300 square miles of surface water, includes portions of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Lake Michigan is hydrologically inseparable from Lake Huron, joined by the wide Straits of Mackinac.
References: Great Lakes Atlas, Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1995
General Resources Alliance for the Great Lakes Formerly the Lake Michigan Federation, the Alliance is a nonprofit, public interest organization focusing on protecting the Great Lakes through a variety of "Positive Change" projects.
An Advocate's Field Guide to Protecting Lake Michigan Alliance for the Great Lakes After two years of research by organizations around Lake Michigan, this guidebook identifies basinwide threats; it is organized into three chapters: habitat restoration, toxic elimination and land and water conservation.
Bathymetry Map Ohio State University and NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory The Great Lakes Forecasting System provides physical data about the lake, including this bathymetry map.
Bathymetry of Lake Michigan U.S. National Geophysical Data Center As part of NOAA's Great Lakes Data Rescue Project, this ite features images of lake depth and lakefloor topography.
Fish of Lake Michigan University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Color illustrations or photographs, size, coloring and other information about many Lake Michigan fish species.
Historic Data - Lake Michigan U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District The Army Corps provides current and historic data on the Great Lakes, including yearly water levels from 1918, monthly storm probability, outflows and precipitation.
Surface Water Temperature University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Check out the Sea Grant Coastwatch, which provides real-time surface water temperatures for Lake Michigan and its ports.
Green Bay Mass Balance Study U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) Conducted in 1989-90 to pilot the technique of mass balance analysis in understanding the sources and effects of toxic pollutants in the Great Lakes' food chain.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Focuses on invasive species, aquaculture, fisheries, the future of communities that border southern Lake Michigan, and other issues that affect the coast through K-12 education, research and outreach projects.
Indiana Lakes Management Society (ILMS) ILMS was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Indiana in 1991 by a group of individuals with a common interest in protecting and saving Indiana lakes for future generations.
Lake Michigan U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) Provides links to Lake Michigan LaMPs, AOCs, Environmental Sensitivity Index, and other projects.
Lake Michigan Biological Station Illinois Natural History Survey Research at LMBS is designed to improve management of various Lake Michigan fisheries and to better understand the ecology of the lake.
Lake Michigan Coastal Coordination Program Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) In May 1995, the Indiana Natural Resources Commission adopted a Resolution to formally recognize the importance of the Lake Michigan coastal region to the state and to rededicate the professional staff of the Commission and the DNR in service to the region.
Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) Provides the most updated information on the Lake Michigan LaMP.
Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) Mass balance studies are a scientific method for evaluating the sources, transport and fate of contaminants entering a water system, and the effects of those contaminants on water quality. See also Mass Balance Public Outreach, Lake Michigan Federation.
Lake Michigan Potential Damages Study U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District An extensive and long-term assessment of potential shoreline damages over the next 50 years due to fluctuating lake levels along the Lake Michigan shoreline (started in 1996).
Research Fisheries Research in Lake Michigan U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Great Lakes Science Center Including prey fish community dynamics, broadband sonar assessment of prey fish, and long term trends in abundance of Lake Michigan fish.
Tourism The Great Lakes Circle Tour Ride along on the 6,500-mile Great Lakes Circle Tour: a scenic, international road system connecting the five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River! For new visitors to the region, this online travel guide offers informational maps, road routes and estimated mileages, and links to major cities, camping and recreation areas, and natural attractions.
Lighthouses of Lake Michigan Seeing The Light Join lighthouse buffs Terry and Sue Pepper on a voyage of discovery around the Great Lakes and through history. This site features extensive photography, research and observations of the lights.