NCCOS and its partners completed a comprehensive ecological assessment of Wisconsin – Lake Michigan and the findings are published in a new NCCOS technical report.
The assessment characterizes key physical, chemical, and biological attributes that influence the natural and cultural resources offshore of Wisconsin in western Lake Michigan. It is a synthesis of existing scientific literature and a collection of new ecological data that organizes and substantially expands the body of ecological knowledge within the study area. Key findings draw heavily upon a new lakebed survey completed off Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and document the protracted and widespread ecological changes occurring in the study area.
The report was conceived to support the designation and management of the proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary, but it is also an instrument for engaging communities, research partners and resource managers in a common, accessible, and scientifically sound body of knowledge. Although the process to designate the sanctuary was suspended in 2018, the report completes an assessment started in 2016, satisfies commitments to project partners, and benefits other planners and policy makers.
The report is a synthesis of data and information from many organizations including the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Sea Grant, University of Wisconsin, and many others.