Wisconsin’s 185 Great Lakes beaches are playgrounds for summer fun. These resources help local officials make informed decisions about beach management and help beach visitors stay safe.

Getting Started

Great Lakes Beaches

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

A variety of resources to find and assess beaches and learn about beach health and water quality.


Environmental Protection Agency

Resources to better understand the basics of water quality and the health risks associated with swimming.

Find Great Lakes Beaches

Wisconsin Coastal Guide

Wisconsin Sea Grant

Use the “Beaches” tab to explore places to swim in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior in Wisconsin.

Promoting Beach Safety

Great Lakes Beach Hazards

NOAA National Weather Service

A seasonal website from roughly Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend that includes beach forecasts, beach safety information, and Great Lakes water safety.

Great Lakes Water Safety

Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium

Resources to understand and promote Integrated Nowcast/Forecast Operation System (INFOS). INFOS combines real-time observations from various sources to create nowcasts and forecasts that help those who visit water bodies make good decisions about safe swimming and water sports.

Integrated Nowcast/Forecast Operation System (INFOS)

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison

INFOS combines real-time observations from various sources, as well as, present nowcasting and forecasting guidance of waves, currents, water temperature, and water levels for sites around the Great Lakes. These sites include Port Washington, Milwaukee, Duluth, the Apostle Islands, and Lake Winnebago/Green Bay.

Beach Health

Wisconsin Beach Health

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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.

Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification (BEACON 2.0)

Environmental Protection Agency

An inventory of ocean and Great Lakes beaches in the United States.

Milwaukee County Beaches

Milwaukee County Parks

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.

Great Lakes Beach Hazards: Developing a Strategy for Dangerous Waves and Currents

NOAA Coastal Services Center

This report identifies how beachgoers perceive the risk of dangerous currents and waves in the Great Lakes, evaluates existing beach safety messages and delivery mechanisms, and translate technical information into understandable, actionable messages for specific beachgoer audiences.

Beach Management

Wisconsin Shoreline Inventory and Oblique Photo Viewer

Association of State Floodplain Managers

Explore how the Great Lakes coasts of Wisconsin have changed since 1976 by viewing beach and bluff conditions, oblique photos and coastal erosion.

Virtual Beach 

Environmental Protection Agency

“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.

National Beach Nourishment Database

American Shore and Beach Preservation Association

This tool provides information on beach nourishment projects. There is information about 6 project sites and 24 nourishment events in Wisconsin.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A modeling tool and analytical framework for evaluating the physical performance and economic benefits and costs of shore protection projects.