The State of Michigan has a diverse array of coastal wetlands along the shoreline of the Great Lakes. Overall, there are approximately 5.5 million acres of wetlands in Michigan, which amounts to 15% of the total land area in the state. These wetlands are highly productive and essential to the overall health of the surrounding ecosystems and human systems. Therefore, the State of Michigan is working with its partners to foster the continued protection and preservation of these critical natural resources.
In 2016, a team of researchers from University of Michigan and Michigan Technological University worked with LIAA, a non-profit community planning organization, under a grant from MDEQ (Office of the Great Lakes) to develop strategies to better assess the resiliency of Great Lakes coastal wetlands and their relationships to adjacent communities. Ultimately, the goal of this project was to enhance local capacity to protect and enhance coastal wetlands, with a special emphasis on responding to changing water levels and dynamic ecosystems. Field studies were completed in two locations in Michigan, Luna Pier in the southeastern corner of the state with shoreline along Lake Erie and the Les Cheneaux Islands of Lake Huron.
Luna Pier, Michigan on Lake Erie
Les Cheneaux Islands, Lake Huron by land and water
Les Cheneaux Islands, Lake Huron by air
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Funding for this project was provided by Michigan DEQ’s Coastal Zone Management program