Mapping coastal Great Lakes wetlands and adjacent land use through hybrid optical-infrared and RADAR image classification techniques

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



A mapping effort is underway to produce an international contemporary baseline map of wetland type, extent and adjacent land use in the Great Lakes Basin. Long-term monitoring of Great Lakes coastal wetlands is currently accomplished through the use of science-based indicators (SOLEC or GLEI indicators) to assess conditions. The weakest element of such a management system is the reliance on old, incomplete and static landscape-scale data. This severely impacts the manager’s ability to monitor and detect effects from two of the most significant coastal wetland stressors; urban development and invasive plant species. In the United States, the baseline map for wetland delineation is the circa 1970s National Wetlands Inventory (NWI). Although much of the Great Lakes NWI is currently being updated, it lacks Information on lands adjacent to wetlands which represent areas that could be potential wetland stressors. Further, the NWI ends at the U.S. border. While Canadian wetland maps exist, they represent a mosaic of mapping techniques, sources and resolutions. A consistent baseline map is needed for the Great Lakes coasts as well as methods to monitor change in coastal ecosystems.

Publisher's Statement

© 2012 INTECOL

Publication Title

Intercol 9th International Wetlands Conference