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Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study

Published Jan. 16, 2024
Updated: March 22, 2024
Blue and green square logo for the Great Lakes Costal Resiliency Study program.

Logo for the Great Lakes Costal Resiliency study highlighting nine federal and state agencies who are partnering for the multi-year study.

02:28
VIDEO | 02:28 | Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study Signing Ceremony
Study Overview

The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study (GLCRS) is an estimated 6 year and $14.4 million cost-shared study with the Great Lakes States: Illinois, Indiana, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The GLCRS is a comprehensive watershed assessment of the Great Lakes coastal areas and identifies coastal areas that could be vulnerable to future storms, flooding, extreme low or high water levels, erosion, and accretion; the identification of a range of actions to improve coastal resiliency; and the development of a collaborative-risk informed-decision framework to support the identification and prioritize of coastal investments by federal, state, and local governments, Tribal Nations, and nongovernmental organizations. The study will be conducted in accordance with Section 211 of Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) 2020 and the Implementation Guidance for Section 211 of WRDA 2020 issued by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA(CW)) on Sept. 17, 2021.



Red and blue graphic showing the watershed study process with milestone indicators.
Study Authority Section 211(a) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 provides direction to the Secretary in carrying out the comprehensive assessment of water resources needs for the Great Lakes System under Section 729 of WRDA 1986 (33 U.S.C. 2267a), as required by Section 1219 of WRDA 2018.
Red and blue graphic showing the watershed study process with milestone indicators.
Study Authority
Section 211(a) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 provides direction to the Secretary in carrying out the comprehensive assessment of water resources needs for the Great Lakes System under Section 729 of WRDA 1986 (33 U.S.C. 2267a), as required by Section 1219 of WRDA 2018.
Photo By: Lucas Morrow
VIRIN: 240228-F-IQ439-002

 

A graphic showing the history of the GLCRS.
Great Lakes Costal Resiliency Study History The Great Lakes Costal Resiliency Study began with a kick-off meeting between USACE and non-federal sponsors on dec. 2016. The study is expected to last up to six years.
A graphic showing the history of the GLCRS.
Great Lakes Costal Resiliency Study History
The Great Lakes Costal Resiliency Study began with a kick-off meeting between USACE and non-federal sponsors on dec. 2016. The study is expected to last up to six years.
Photo By: Lucas Morrow
VIRIN: 240228-F-IQ439-001

Study Team & Partners



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program
POC: Cody Eskew
Senior Scientific Specialist, Coastal Studies
Cody.Eskew@illinois.gov


Lake Michigan Coastal Program
POC: Jenny Orsburn
Program Manager, Lake Michigan Coastal Program
jeorsburn@dnr.in.gov



Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Management Program
POC: Julie McDonnel
Coastal Resilience Specialist
Mlscp.dnr@state.mn.us


Coastal Resources Management Program
POC: Matt Walderon
Coastal Resource Specialist, Coastal Resources Program
mwalderon@pa.gov


Wisconsin Coastal Management Program
POC: Mike Friis
Director, Resource Policy Bureau
michael.friis@wisconsin.gov

 

Learn More

The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study (GLCRS) is envisioned as a collaborative effort by the eight Great Lakes states, US Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, USGS, FEMA, and USEPA to improve the resiliency of the Great Lakes coastline. To protect the immense economic, environmental and social value of the Great Lakes shoreline, this study would:

• Identify coastal areas that are already or likely to become vulnerable to future flooding, erosion, and accretion;

• Identify actions to address vulnerabilities and improve resilience and adaptability of coastal resources; and

• Establish a risk-informed decision framework to support the identification and prioritization of coastal investments.

• Without such a study, federal, state, and local agencies would lack information regarding future coastal conditions.

The study area encompasses over 5,200 miles of shoreline along the five Great Lakes and their connecting channels in the states of IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA and WI. Approximately 4.2M people live within 2 miles of the coast and many work and recreate in the region.  Trends suggest coastal resources will be at greater risk. This watershed study would investigate opportunities to improve resilience in the built and natural environment, including coastal populations, buildings, infrastructure, industries, navigation systems, social/cultural resources, ecosystems, coastal landscapes, and natural processes.

The study would integrate and build upon substantial efforts and partnerships funded through GLRI and other federal and state programs, increasing returns on existing investments. The study would examine a range of potential future conditions that take into account stressors that affect coastal resilience, as shown in the figure. In collaboration with study partners, vulnerable coastal resources would be identified and mapped.

• Existing shore protection infrastructure and aging infrastructure

• Transportation, power, and stormwater infrastructure

• Major population centers: Chicago Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Green Bay, Erie, Duluth

• 60 commercial harbors moving >123M tons (USACE 2015)

• Cold-rolled steel production critical for automobile sector

• Maritime economy valued at $17.3B and includes 293,000 jobs (NOAA 2014)

• Fishing economy - Recreational ($14.3B), Commercial ($55.5M), and Charter ($105M) sales/revenue (USACE 2014)

• Recreational boating: 1/3 of nation’s registered boaters (USEPA)

• Future real estate development along coasts

• Littoral sediment transport processes, leading to erosion

• Coastal habitats: wetlands, bluffs, dunes, beaches (NOAA)

• Biodiversity: natives, threatened & endangered species (USEPA)

 

El Estudio de Resiliencia Costera de los Grandes Lagos (GLCRS) se concibe como un esfuerzo colaborativo de los ocho estados de los Grandes Lagos, el Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de los EE. UU., NOAA, USGS, FEMA y USEPA para mejorar la resiliencia de la línea costera de los Grandes Lagos. Para proteger el inmenso valor económico, ambiental y social de la línea costera de los Grandes Lagos, este estudio:

• Identificará las áreas costeras que ya son o podrían volverse vulnerables a futuras inundaciones, erosión y acreción;

• Identificará acciones para abordar las vulnerabilidades y mejorar la resiliencia y adaptabilidad de los recursos costeros; y

• Establecerá un marco de decisiones basado en el riesgo para apoyar la identificación y priorización de inversiones costeras.

• Sin un estudio de este tipo, las agencias federales, estatales y locales carecerían de información sobre las condiciones costeras futuras.

El área de estudio abarca más de 5,200 millas de costa a lo largo de los cinco Grandes Lagos y sus canales de conexión en los estados de IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA y WI. Aproximadamente 4.2 millones de personas viven dentro de las 2 millas de la costa y muchas trabajan y recrean en la región. Las tendencias sugieren que los recursos costeros estarán en mayor riesgo. Este estudio de cuenca Hidrográfica investigaría oportunidades para mejorar la resiliencia en el ambiente construido y  ambiente natural, incluidas las poblaciones costeras, edificios, infraestructura, industrias, sistemas de navegación, recursos sociales/culturales, ecosistemas, paisajes costeros y procesos naturales.

El estudio integraría y se basaría en esfuerzos y colaboraciones sustanciales financiados a través de GLRI y otros programas federales y estatales, aumentando los rendimientos de las inversiones existentes. El estudio examinaría una variedad de condiciones futuras potenciales que tienen en cuenta los factores que afectan la resiliencia costera, como se muestra en la figura. En colaboración con el grupo de estudio, se identificarían y mapearían los recursos costeros vulnerables.

• Infraestructura existente de protección costera e infraestructura envejecida/deteriorada

• Infraestructura de transporte, energía y aguas pluviales

• Principales centros de población: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Green Bay, Erie, Duluth

• 60 puertos comerciales que mueven >123 millones de toneladas (USACE 2015)

• Producción de acero laminado en frío crítico para el sector automotriz

• Economía marítima valorada en $17.3 mil millones e incluye 293,000 empleos (NOAA 2014)

• Economía pesquera - Ventas/ingresos recreativos ($14.3 mil millones), comerciales ($55.5 millones) y chárter ($105 millones) (USACE 2014)

• Navegación recreativa: 1/3 de los navegantes registrados en la nación (USEPA)

• Desarrollo futuro de bienes raíces a lo largo de las costas

• Procesos de transporte de sedimentos litorales, que conducen a la erosión

• Hábitats costeros: humedales, acantilados, dunas, playas (NOAA)

• Biodiversidad: especies nativas, amenazadas y en peligro de extinción (USEPA)

 


Contact
Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study
GLCRS@usace.army.mil