Ecological Assessment of Wisconsin - Lake Michigan
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Ecological Assessment of Wisconsin - Lake Michigan

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Ecological Assessment of Wisconsin - Lake Michigan
  • Description:
    For over 30 years, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has compiled and assessed coastal ecological information to develop effective conservation and management tools for many of the nation’s special places. The impetus of this report when it was conceived in 2015 was to provide ecological information that would support the designation and management of the proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary. During the completion of this report, the future of the proposed sanctuary designation became uncertain. However, the report was finished for several reasons. Funding to complete the report had already been allocated and much of the report had already been written. Perhaps most importantly, although this report was designed for sanctuary managers, we understood it would also benefit other planners and policy makers, including the Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, it serves as an instrument for engaging local communities, research partners and resource managers in a common, accessible, and scientifically sound body of knowledge.This report characterizes lakebed features, water quality, lake ice, invasive mussels, and fishes offshore of Wisconsin in western Lake Michigan. It is organized into separate chapters for each of these ecological components, and addresses the status and trends of these components over the past 10 to 20 years. This report was part of a broader three year project to support the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in Lake Michigan. The project also developed several complementary datasets and tools including: new classified lakebed GIS data; new bathymetry, backscatter and sonar imagery; lakebed mapping priorities compiled from a group of Lake Michigan experts; and online tools to explore new lakebed maps and imagery, as well as, existing ecological datasets collected by other agencies and organizations.
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