The tools section of the Wisconsin Coastal Atlas serves as a gateway to spatial decision-support tools relevant to coastal management on the Great Lakes. This is accomplished in two ways - first, by linking to innovative decision support tools for coastal management and second, by leveraging the spatial data catalog of the atlas to develop new spatial decision support tools.


Integrated Nowcast/Forecast Operation System (INFOS)

INFOS combines real-time observations from various sources to create nowcasts and forecasts that help visitors to the Great Lakes make safe decisions about swimming and other water sports.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison

Wisconsin Beach Health

This tool helps people make informed choices about health risks when deciding to go to the beach. Water quality sampling is provided for public beaches on the Great Lakes and inland waters.
U.S. Geological Survey

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Milwaukee County Beaches

This tool provides accurate and timely information to the public about the beach, nearshore and weather conditions at public beaches within the Milwaukee County Parks system.
Wisconsin/Minnesota/Michigan Sea Grant with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

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Wisconsin Manure Management Advisory System

This tool provides a set of maps that help farmers who apply nutrients to identify suitable cropland areas for spreading. There are maps for both daily application planning and long-term nutrient management.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

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This tool identifies barriers to fish migration in the Great Lakes basin and helps target the best candidates for removal. The goal is to work across jurisdictions to coordinate barrier removal and most efficiently achieve the greatest increase in fish habitat.
McIntyre Lab at the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology and the Optimization Group at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

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GLRI Phragmites Decision Support Tool Mapper

This tool provides resource managers with information to strategically develop effective Phragmites control and invasion prevention programs within 10 km of the Great Lakes coasts.
U.S. Geological Survey in partnership with MTRI and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Great Lakes Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA)

This tool supports emergency responders and environmental resource managers with coastal pollution cleanup, restoration, and response efforts in the Great Lakes basin.
NOAA, Office of Response and Restoration with the University of New Hampshire and U.S. EPA

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Visualizing Coastal Erosion on the Great Lakes

This tool integrates animation, aerial photography, pictures, charts, and text to help the public better understand the natural process of coastal erosion; how local land development decisions impact coastal erosion; and makes the case for scientifically-based coastal development setbacks. The location is just south of Concordia University in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.
Geography Department, UW-Madison

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GIS-Based Analysis of Sustainable Domestic Aquaculture Development in Wisconsin

This tool helps guide the proper selection of species, location and culture practices to improve the success rate of new aquaculture ventures. It includes GIS-based suitability models for ponds and raceways.
UWSP-Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility

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Sea Caves Watch

This tool provides photos and data about conditions at the sea caves on the mainland of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is intended to help kayakers make informed decisions about visiting the caves.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison

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SSEC Real Earth Map Server Project

RealEarth is a data discovery and visualization platform with hundreds of products in over 50 categories.
Space Science and Engineering Center, UW-Madison

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Virtual Beach

"Virtual Beach" is a free decision-support software that enables coastal beach managers, public health professionals, and applied researchers to efficiently develop and operate water-quality models to inform beach-specific decisions on: (1) Whether to issue (or lift) swim advisories/closures on a given day; (2) What type of lab test (if any) to run on a given day; and (3) Where and how to prioritize long-term remediation efforts.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Geological Survey/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources/Wisconsin Sea Grant

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Decision Tool Portals
Digital Coast
NOAA Office for Coastal Management
Digital Coast provides access to data relevant to the ocean and Great Lakes coasts, in addition to the tools and methods to turn these data into useful information to guide decision-making. Read about how Wisconsin Sea Grant benefits from the Digital Coast. Wisconsin Sea Grant has developed a matrix of 73 tools in the NOAA Digital Coast as of June 2019 that is categorized by tool type and includes comments relative to potential use in the Great Lakes region.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
The Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events. Wisconsin Sea Grant has developed a matrix of 419 tools in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit as of June 2019 that is categorized by focus area and functionality and includes comments relative to potential use in the Great Lakes region.

Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network
The EBM Tools Network promotes healthy ecosystems and communities through the use of tools that help incorporate ecosystem-based thinking into management decisions. Network resources include comprehensive reviews of tools for coastal climate adaptation planning, integrated land-sea planning, and landscape-level assessment and planning.

Great Lakes Clean Communities Network Tools Directory
A collection of decision tools relevant to water, natural resources and environmental professionals working in the Great Lakes region. There are 112 tools as of June 2019.

Wisconsin Decision Tools
Assessing Vulnerability through Storm Transposition
Ken Potter, University of Wisconsin-Madison and David Liebl, University of Wisconsin-Extension
This project, funded by the NOAA Climate Program Office and the Northeast Climate Science Center, moves the rainfall characteristics of actual extreme precipitation events such as the June 2008 storm centered on Lake Delton, Wisconsin over new locations to simulate the conditions that would occur and spark a community discussion about resilience to flooding. A case study in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit shows the impact of the Lake Delton transposed on Madison, WI. The TranStorm tool facilitates storm transposition and helps communities identify vulnerabilities to flooding.

Great Lakes Decision Tools
FishVis Mapper
U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Water Science Center
This map-based tool provides an approach for predicting fish species occurrence under current climate conditions and project how fish species occurrence may change under future climate conditions.

Great Lakes SPARROW Mapper for Modeling Watershed Health
U.S. Geological Survey
This tools supports regional interpretation of water-quality monitoring in the Great Lakes watershed. The SPARROW model relates in-stream water-quality measurements to spatially referenced characteristics of watersheds, including contaminant sources and factors influencing terrestrial and aquatic transport.

Tipping Points and Indicators
Purdue University and partners
This project leverages research on land use indicator variables that determine thresholds, or tipping points, that when exceeded can degrade aquatic ecosystems. The Tipping Points Planner is a web-based decision support system and facilitated community action planning process to help guide development of watershed action plans.

Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Decision-Support Tool
Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Consortium funded by the GLRI
This website allows the public to access information relevant to Great Lakes coastal wetland conservation and management. Tiered access by request provides access to index of biological integrity (IBI) scores and full species lists by wetland site.

Deep Lake Explorer
Collaborative Project in Zooniverse
Deep Lake Explorer supports analysis and classification of underwater video collected through EPA initiatives to classify impacts of invasive species on Great Lakes ecosystems.

Great Lakes Coastal Web Atlases/Coastal GIS Projects
Indiana Lake Michigan Rim GIS
Indiana Geological Survey

Natural Resource Atlas of Northeastern Minnesota
Natural Resources Research Institute, with collaborators at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Sea Grant

Minnesota Coastal GIS
Natural Resources Research Institute with support from Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program

New York Geographic Information Gateway
New York Department of State

Ohio Coastal Atlas
Ohio DNR Office of Coastal Management

National Decision Tools
U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Water Science Center
This useful map-based tool provides users with access to an assortment of analytical tools that cover a variety of water-resources management purposes.

C-CAP Land Cover Atlas
NOAA Coastal Services Center
This online data viewer provides access to land cover data developed through NOAA's Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). The tool provides maps and reports of land cover change at the county level.

National Beach Nourishment Database
APTIM, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association and USACE Regional Sediment Management
This tool provides information on beach nourishment projects. There is information about 6 project sites and 24 nourishment events in Wisconsin.

Data Visualization and Geospatial Tools
National Renewable Energy Lab
Interactive maps to guide decisions to invest in renewable energy, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and alternative transportation fuels.

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, 1975 Willow Drive FL 2, Madison, WI 53706-1177 ph 608-262-0905
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