States and Provinces

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For More Information

Matt Doss
Policy Director
Great Lakes Commission
734‐396‐6064
[email protected]

What the Great Lakes mean to Wisconsin

Wisconsin has more than 1,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and more than 20 percent of the state’s land area lies within the Great Lakes basin.

Over 2.5 million residents – or more than half the state’s population – live within these coastal zones. More than 45 percent of Wisconsin’s gross domestic product originates in its coastal counties and more than 1.6 million Wisconsin citizens get their drinking water from Lake Michigan or Lake Superior.

Recreation and Tourism

Wisconsin’s Great Lakes shoreline forms the backbone of a $3 billion state tourism industry. Sport fishing attracts over 250,00 anglers each year, generating $252 million.

Harbors and ports along Wisconsin’s coasts support a $9.4 billion recreational boating industry that attracts millions of visitors annually.

Commercial Navigation

Wisconsin is home to seven commercial ports and moves more than 42 million tons of cargo annually to Canada, Russia, South Africa and cities throughout the Great Lakes basin.

More than $7 billion in cargo moves through Wisconsin’s ports each year, contributing $1.4 billion of business revenue to the state and $179 million in taxes. Wisconsin’s commercial shipping industry also supports 8,800 jobs and $622 million in personal income.

Solving Problems Facing the Great Lakes

Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Strategy, developed in 2006 by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in partnership with local communities, tribes and nongovernmental organizations, outlined actions needed to restore Wisconsin’s Great Lakes and their watersheds. The strategy is helping to guide implementation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has invested more than $330 million for more than 400 protection and restoration projects in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Strategy includes actions for managing water use and water transfers out of the basin; preventing exotic species introductions; cleaning up contaminated sites; controlling pollution from nonpoint sources; promoting beach safety; restoring and protecting habitat and species; eliminating the introduction of persistent bioaccumulative toxins; adopting sustainable development practices; and improving methods for monitoring indicators and related information to track the health of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes water resources.

Click the filter icon on the left side of the map to view projects by state or use the search bar to enter zip codes or addresses to narrow your search.

Click on the dots to learn more about specific projects, funding sources, restoration partners, and project outcomes.

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To see an expanded map of GLRI projects in Wisconsin and across the region visit click here. 

For More Information

Matt Doss
Policy Director
Great Lakes Commission
734‐396‐6064
[email protected]

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