Coastal wetlands of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes
The state of Wisconsin is bordered by Lake Superior to the northwest and Lake Michigan to the east. The 820 miles of combined shoreline make up a complex arrangement of ecosystems that contain a rich variety of natural features. Wetlands near the coasts of both lakes provide rich habitat for plants and animals and greatly influence the larger ecosystem processes of the Great Lakes Ecosystem. These coastal wetlands are diverse in nature, and include marshes, bogs, fens, sedge meadows, shrub swamps, hardwood swamps, coniferous swamps and spring seeps. Some wetland types are unique to the Great Lakes coasts, including freshwater estuaries, interdunal wetlands, ridge and swale systems, and lakeplain prairies.
As transition zones between land and water, coastal wetlands and freshwater estuaries are often rich in species diversity and provide critical habitat for migratory and nesting birds, spawning fish and rare plants.
About Great Lakes coastal wetlands
Find a Great Lakes coastal wetland
Great Lakes coastal wetlands resources
- Bureau of Endangered Resources reports
- Annotated bibliography
- 2012 directory of research projects
- Lake Superior Estuary and Coastal Wetland Biotic Inventory Plan