Photos from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2011-2012 Oblique Imagery (

Planning for Fluctuating Lake Levels

What is a Resilient Great Lakes Coastal Community?

In an effort to make better planning decisions based on known information about the Great Lakes systems, a multi-disciplinary project team composed of planners and researchers from the University of Michigan (UM), Michigan Technological University (MTU), and the non-profit Land Information Access Association (LIAA) integrated both scientific knowledge and best management practices to identify and analyze hazard areas, and to work with community groups to plan for better coastline management. From this recent and ongoing work on Great Lakes coastal habits and shoreline dynamics, with support from the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes and local Michigan communities, a set of methods were crafted to help local planners analyze shoreland dynamics, fiscal impacts, environmental vulnerabilities, visualized high risk areas, and land use impacts. The hope is that coastal communities can use the methods found here in the future to better assess the potential to restore, retrofit, and recouple their dynamic shorelands through state shoreland management policies and laws, as well as with local master plans, regulations, and polices. As local communities explore these methods and ideas on their own, they will become more adaptive and resilient to climate shocks along their coastlines.

All of the methods developed can be downloaded as a single guidance manual (see link below), or can be reviewed by section (see topics below).

Download Full Guidance Manual