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Wisconsin Coastal Management

The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) is dedicated to preserving and improving access to the natural and historic resources of Wisconsin's Great Lakes coasts. The program works cooperatively with state, local and tribal government agencies, along with non-profit organizations, to manage the ecological, economic and aesthetic assets of the Great Lakes and their coastal areas.

Coastal Management Grants Map

Click here to go to the online interactive map of grant projects in Wisconsin's coastal zone, funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program.

Annual Accomplishments and Funding

These annual reports (Coastal Fact Sheets) prepared in partnership with the Coastal States Organization include priorities, needs, how funds were spent and who received the funds.

Program Objectives

The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program was established in 1978 under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act to protect and wisely use valuable coastal resources for present and future generations.

Coastal management means achieving a balance between natural resources preservation and economic development along the Great Lakes coasts. The program works to achieve the following objectives:

  • Improve the implementation and enforcement of state statutes, policies, regulations and programs affecting the Great Lakes.
  • Improve the coordination of activities undertaken by federal, state and local governments on matters affecting key coastal uses and areas.
  • Strengthen the capacity of local governments to undertake effective coastal management.
  • Advocate the wise and balanced use of the coastal environment.
  • Inform the public about coastal issues and increase opportunities for citizen participation in decisions affecting the Great Lakes.

Networked Program

The Coastal Management Program coordinates the many state and local government programs that affect the coasts through the Coastal Management Council, staff activities and various review procedures. Its location in the Department of Administration, which is the Governor's Executive Agency, enables this coordination function.

State agencies, county and municipal governments and private organizations all have an interest in some aspect of the Great Lakes coastal area. The program's challenge is to get all these government bodies to administer their programs consistently and together solve problems affecting Wisconsin's coastal zone.

Wisconsin's Coastal Zone

The boundaries of the coastal zone subject to the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program extend to the state boundary on the waterward side and, on the inland side, include the 15 counties with frontage on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, or Green Bay.  Click here for a map of Wisconsin's coastal counties, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan basins, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan areas.

The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management funds the WCMP under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant #NA13NOS4190043.