Education and Guidance on Resilient Practices

Four documents will be produced to provide education and guidance on resilient practices for bluffs, beaches and waterfront infrastructure. These documents are described below along with a list of complementary resources that already exist.

Property Owner’s Guide to Protecting Your Bluff 

This document will explain best practices that property owners can take to care for their bluffs, including bluff top and toe protection, informed site usage, proper water drainage and stabilizing vegetation.

Related Resources

Adapting to a Changing Coast – Options and Resources for Lake Michigan Property Owners – Publication with 16 options across 5 themes to help coastal property owners adapt to changing water levels and storms on Lake Michigan

Adapting to a Changing Coast – Options and Resources for Local Officials in Southeastern Wisconsin Coastal Communities – Publication with 28 options across 4 themes to help local government officials address changing water levels and storms on Lake Michigan

Living on the Coast – Booklet describing natural coastal processes and strategies to manage risk to coastal properties

Placing Erosion Control Structures on Great Lakes – Website with information on requirements and considerations for shore protection projects in Wisconsin

Stabilizing Coastal Slopes on the Great Lakes – Fact sheet describing shoreline erosion and slope instability

Working with Engineers and Contractors on Shore Protection Projects – Fact sheet describing the process of finding and working with qualified coastal professional

Great Lakes Shore Protections Structures and Their Effects on Coastal Processes – Fact sheet describing shore protection structures and their effects, both positive and negative, on the shoreline

Ohio Coastal Design Manual – Online manual demonstrating how Great Lakes coastal structures are designed


Nature-Based Shorelines for Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Coast

This publication will describe shore protection and stabilization practices that incorporate elements of a natural shoreline into their design. In particular, this fact sheet will highlight certain nature-based shorelines that may work on high-wave energy Great Lakes shorelines, along with advantages and disadvantages of these approaches.

Related Resources

Systematic Approaches to Geomorphic Engineering – Community of practice advancing natural coastal infrastructure practices

Natural and Structural Measures for Shoreline Stabilization – Brochure about the continuum of green and gray shore protection infrastructure

Living Shorelines Academy – Web resource with maps, databases, research, and training modules on living shorelines (another term for nature-based shorelines)


Great Lakes Port, Harbor, and Infrastructure Cost Matrix and Dredging Contract Database

This tool will lay out a framework for smaller harbors and marinas to estimate future maintenance costs due to dredging and storm damage to support resilience planning at these facilities. This tool will be based on an existing matrix tool geared towards large ports.

Related Resources

Great Lakes Port and Harbor Infrastructure and Dredging Cost Evaluation Matrix – A matrix model to estimate the cost of building and maintaining structures at large ports in the Great Lakes

Failing Coastal Wood Infrastructure on the Great Lakes – Fact sheet on timber structure failure mechanisms and potential solutions

Best Practice Inspection Guidelines for Great Lakes Port, Harbor and Marina Structures – Fact sheet with inspection guidelines to prevent structure deterioration

Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies for Great Lakes Ports, Harbors and Marinas – Fact sheet on potential future Great Lakes water levels and their possible impacts to waterfront facilities

Wisconsin Clean Marina Best Management Practices – Guidebook that describes regulations and practices that address marine facilities and nonpoint sources of pollution


Resilient Beach Practices Guide

This document will provide guidance on the practical considerations involved in restoring and maintaining beaches to withstand the high-energy, storm-driven wave environment of the Great Lakes.

Related Resources

Beach Nourishment Database – Database with information on beach nourishment projects nationwide

Virtual Beach – A free software program for developing and operating beach water quality models that can aid both short-term decisions on testing and closures as well as long-term remediation activities

Lake Level Viewer – A web mapping tool to examine the potential impacts of lake level changes on shoreline position and water depth in the Great Lakes.