Happy new year from the Coastal Resilience Team!

This month's newsletter contains articles on:
  • Lake Michigan Water Level Update
  • Blog: Resources for Great Lakes Coastal Property Owners: Where do I start?
  • Resource of the Month: Great Lakes Emergency Erosion Control Self Certification
  • Workshop: Substantial Damage Estimation
  • Funding: Sustain our Great Lakes 2020
  • Funding: EPA GLRI Trash-Free Waters
  • Community Story: Chesterfield Township Shoreline Restoration
January Water Level Update
The water levels on all the Great Lakes still remain above average as of the beginning of the New Year. Water levels on Lake Michigan were within an inch of the monthly record high for December and will likely set a new record high for the month of January. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' forecast indicates a high likelihood of record or near-record water levels throughout the beginning of 2020.

Click below to read the '5 things to know' about water levels on Lake Michigan

A Water Level Informational Meeting was held in Green Bay in mid-January. Presentations were given by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, Wisconsin Sea Grant, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. A recording this meeting can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/TFoWk2Uj9dg?t=332
Educational Resources for Coastal Property Owners: Where do I start?
The new year has brought substantial erosion along much of the Lake Michigan shoreline. We'd like to reconnect you with a list of key educational resources that can help guide you and your residents understand coastal hazards and the options available to address them.

This list of educational resources is available as both a webpage and a printable PDF that can be used as a handout for residents.
Resource of the Month
 Great Lakes Emergency Erosion Control Self Certification
The  Self Certification  is a streamlined temporary erosion control placement authorization process intended for emergency situations on Great Lakes shorelines. This process was established to allow homeowners to protect their properties from imminent risk without permitting delays. A brief questionnaire helps a potential applicant determine if a permit is necessary for the actions they are planning to take. Then the applicant can follow the steps provided in the permit application checklist to apply for an Individual Permit for Great Lakes Erosion Control. Landowners do not need to wait to hear back from the Wisconsin DNR before beginning emergency shoreline protection; the department will continue to allow the placement of temporary emergency material to protect a property while a permit is being applied for. 
Substantial Damage Estimation Workshops

In response to flooding events, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in partnership with FEMA will host 2 workshops on Friday Feb. 15, 2020 . A morning workshop will cover on post-disaster responsibilities and an afternoon workshop will cover calculating substantial damage.

Details on the workshops are provided in the following fliers.

All community floodplain zoning administrators, community officials, building officials, and other development professionals are encouraged to attend. There is no fee to attend, but please register at http://bit.ly/WaukeshaWorkshop  as seating may be limited.  

For more information contact:
Michelle Staff - Wisconsin DNR
(608) 220-5633
Sustain Our Great Lakes Funding Opportunity
Sustain Our Great Lakes will be awarding funding to restore and enhance habitat in the Great Lakes basin. The deadline for pre-applications is Feb. 11, 2020.

Award categories include:
  • Restore and Enhance Stream and Riparian Habitat
  • Restore and Enhance Coastal Wetland Habitat
  • Expand Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Great Lakes Communities
  • Maintain and Enhance Benefits of Habitat Restoration through Invasive Species Control
  • New in 2020: Restore and Preserve Natural Areas and Biodiversity in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan Watershed

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and state/tribal/local governments.

For more information, visit the Request for Proposals will be available at www.nfwf.org/greatlakes/
EPA GLRI Trash Free Waters Funding Opportunity

The U.S. EPA is seeking applications under a newly developed Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant program focused on keeping trash out of the Great Lakes. Approximately $2 million is available through the Trash-Free Great Lakes program to fund up to 12 projects. The deadline for applications is Feb. 14, 2020.

Eligible projects include:
  • Great Lakes beach and shoreline cleanup projects
  • Great Lakes harbor and river cleanup projects
State agencies, federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia, any agency or instrumentality of local governments, nonprofit organizations, interstate agencies, and colleges and universities are eligible to apply for the grants.

Coastal Resilience Stories from Around the Great Lakes
Chesterfield Township Shoreline Restoration
Chesterfield Township is in the process of developing shoreline restoration plans for Brandenburg Park which is regarded as “the jewel of Chesterfield Township.” The township was awarded a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to assist with engineering and design fees. Shoreline erosion has led to the degradation of the existing protection structure – a steel seawall. The plans for the park will include transforming the shoreline into a ‘living shoreline,’ restoring native habitat, creating a protected harbor with a new breakwall, and installing an education station describing the project and habitat.
The seawall at Brandenburg Park
Photo Credit to Chesterfield Township
The seawall at Brandenburg Park
Photo Credit: Chesterfield Township
If you have any questions about Lake Michigan coastal hazards or how to approach, plan, and prepare for them, please contact
Adam Bechle

For more information, visit the Southeast Wisconsin Coastal Resilience Project website
Follow us on Twitter @sewiresilience for updates
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute | (608) 262-0905 | 1975 Willow Drive, 2nd Floor, Madison, WI 53706