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.


Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Planning Guide

The guide helps local officials in Great Lakes communities address existing hazard-related threats, as well as the effects of climate change. These tools incorporate geospatial data, science-based information, and visualizations, and were piloted in coastal Wisconsin.
NOAA Digital Coast Partnership led by the Association of State Floodplain Managers

View the guide...

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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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

This website visualizes satellite and imagery weather data for desktop and mobile clients. Useful products include Great Lakes bathymetry, water surface temperature, currents, precipitation phase, road conditions and fire danger index.
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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Wisconsin Decision Support Tools
McIntyre Lab at the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology and the Optimization Group at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
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. 

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.

How is Wisconsin's Climate Changing?
Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts
A web mapping interface that calculates the locations where the current climate most closely matches the projected climate for a point you select in Wisconsin.

Great Lakes Decision Support Tools
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 Environmental Response
NOAA, Office of Response and Restoration
The Great Lakes Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) is a tool that supports coastal pollution cleanup, restoration, and response efforts in the Great Lakes basin.

GLRI Phragmites Decision Support Tool Mapper
U.S. Geological Survey, CIDA
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.

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.

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

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 Support Tools
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.

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

Decision Support 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 68 tools in the NOAA Digital Coast that is categorized by platform, focus area, function, data type and 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 393 tools in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit 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 November 2017.

Place Matters
PlaceMatters is a non-profit think tank for civic engagement and works to develop new technologies and apply new approaches with the goal of making civic engagement a more valuable component of the planning process.

Midwest Spatial Decision Support Partnership
Environmental Protection Agency
The goal of the partnership is to develop, promote, and disseminate web-based spatial decision support systems to help manage watersheds in the Midwest.

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