Evaluation of available geospatial data for determining wetland connectivity in the Great Lakes

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



Great Lakes coastal wetlands are at risk due to ongoing development and increasing effects of global climate change, such as fluctuations in water level and hydroperiod. Geospatial datasets are invaluable for understanding and protecting these important wetland resources. This project evaluated the available datasets relevant to coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes region, and to use these datasets to determine wetland connectivity and zones of coastal influence, which could be of great use to local management officials in coastal communities. Digital elevation data at varying resolutions was tested and compared for their utility in developing these outputs. Additionally, verification of recently created Great Lakes coastal wetland maps was carried out to determine which wetlands are hydrologically connected to the Great Lakes. Analysis was conducted for the Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron and Luna Pier on Lake Erie to evaluate a range of wetland types and conditions that may be found in coastal Michigan communities. The results of this work are being translated into educational materials that will be usable by local officials who may not have the capacity or resources to use GIS.

Publisher's Statement

Publisher's version of record: http://iaglr.org/conference/downloads/2017_abstracts.pdf

Publication Title

IAGLR's 60th annual Conference on Great Lakes Research