Collaborative Benthic Habitat Mapping in the Nearshore Waters of Lake Superior / Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron

In partnership with NPS and Wisconsin state offices, NOAA is organizing a collaborative benthic mapping effort to address significant littoral management issues that have emerged in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior, and in lakes Michigan and Huron:

  • Increases in coastal erosion
  • Sedimentation and degradation of native fish habitat
  • Watershed development and water quality changes
  • Algal blooms
  • Species invasions

This project will result in the collection and processing of multibeam sonar depth and backscatter data for the development of high resolution bathymetry and benthic mapping utilizing the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) to classify substrate and biotic components.

Mapping activities will address critical gaps in current knowledge and management applications. Subsequent modeling activities could be used to identify and protect shoreline sites vulnerable to lake level changes and coastal erosion. Approximately 820-847 linear survey miles will be completed to fill in data gaps located around the Apostle Islands in near and offshore areas.

FY2024: $4,000,000

FY2023: $4,600,000

FY2022: $6,000,000

FY2021: $300,000

FY2020: $400,000

FY2019: $500,000


Other partners:
Multi-Agency (National Park Service, NOAA GLERL, NOAA NCCOS, NOAA NMS, State of Wisconsin)