For Further Information Contact:
Mike Friis, Leader
Resource Policy Team
Division of Intergovernmental Relations
Phone: 608-267-7982
E-mail: [email protected]

Governor Tony Evers today announced $176,000 in grants to support local governments in Southeastern Wisconsin as they plan and prepare to build resilience to Lake Michigan coastal hazards. Administered by the Department of Administration’s Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the 7 grants will be used by local governments to assist with projects totaling nearly $370,000.

Southeastern Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan bluffs, beaches, and harbor infrastructure are currently being impacted by a combination of high water levels, erosion, and coastal storms. These coastal hazards threaten coastal properties and can impair tourism and commerce in the region. Planning, preparing for and adapting to coastal hazards can enhance community resilience and strengthen coastal economies.

The intergovernmental collaborations aided by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program advance resilience priorities such as assessing the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure, developing strategies to reduce hazard risk and providing education and outreach to the public. The funds are part of a federally-funded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Resilience Grant project entitled “Improving Economic Security in Coastal Wisconsin” that was awarded to the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and its partners the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).

The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program balances natural resource protection and sustainable economic development along Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coasts. The program awards federal funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office for Coastal Management in the U.S. Department of Commerce, to local governments and other entities for innovative coastal initiatives.

Additional information about the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program can be found at

A complete list of grants is attached.

Project NameKember Center Shoreline Protection Phase III
ApplicantKenosha County Division of Parks
Grant Amount$30,000
ContactMatthew Collins: 262-857-1850

This project will develop strategies to protect the shoreline at the Kemper Center, a cultural and recreational facility along exposed shoreline on Lake Michigan that is continually damaged by waves. This project will advance stormwater management and site grading plans for the site, assess the current salvageable material along the shoreline and further regulatory coordination for shoreline stabilization.

Project NameUnderstanding Coastal Hazard Impacts through Parcel Mapping, Shoreline Classification, Public Outreach and Local Ordinance Review
ApplicantCity of Racine Department of Public Health
Grant Amount$20,992
ContactJulie Kinzelman: 262-636-9501

This project seeks to better understand coastal hazards threats, resources, and policies in Racine County. This project will review existing parcel maps to determine ownership of assets along the coast, compile regionally relevant coastal hazard education and outreach materials for shoreline property owners and conduct a review of ordinances for coastal Racine County jurisdictions to evaluate their currency and identify opportunities to better address coastal hazards.

Project NameAssess, Revise and/or Develop Beach Management Plans for WDNR Designated Public Beaches –Racine County
ApplicantCity of Racine Department of Public Health
Grant Amount$20,992
ContactJulie Kinzelman: 262-636-9501

This project will assess, revise and/or develop beach best management practice plans, with a focus on incorporating elements which address extreme weather impacts on the beachscape. This project will provide the most up to date information regarding site management practices to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as well as the jurisdictions with local authority over these public bathing beaches.

Project NameCreating A Coastline Management Policy for Milwaukee County
ApplicantMilwaukee County
Grant Amount$19,000
ContactStevan Keith: 414-278-4355

This project will develop a formal policy and coastal land management practices for Milwaukee County to assist with preventing or reducing shoreline recession, bluff failure, or erosion on County lands. Elements of the policy and management practices will include guidance on setbacks from bluffs and ravines, vegetation management, viewshed management, stabilization techniques, and stormwater management.

Project NameMilwaukee County Coastal Resources Inventory
ApplicantMilwaukee County
Grant Amount$41,800
ContactStevan Keith: 414-278-4355

This project will conduct a comprehensive study to identify and assess the vulnerability of Milwaukee County’s extensive property holdings and recreational assets along the Lake Michigan shoreline to extreme weather. The study will inventory Milwaukee County’s coastal resources, summarize their status, assign values to those resources, and prioritize them according to vulnerability and value.

Project NamePort of Milwaukee Coastal Facilities Inspection and Assessment for Coastal Resilience Hazards, Planning & Sustainability
ApplicantPort Milwaukee
Grant Amount$18,700
ContactLarry Sullivan: 414-286-8139

This project will inspect Port Milwaukee’s coastal structures, assess their resilience and plan mitigation measures for preventing future coastal hazard damage. The Port would upgrade the capacity of its existing harbor survey boat, allowing the Port’s staff engineers to conduct a thorough infrastructure inspection above and below the water line to assess vulnerabilities to coastal hazards and identify strategic mitigation measures.

Project NameClay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve Master Plan
ApplicantOzaukee County Planning and Parks Department
Grant Amount$25,000
ContactAndrew Struck: 262-238-8275

This project will develop a Master Plan for the Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve that considers coastal resiliency challenges to aid in the long-term management of the property. Elements of the Master Plan will include ecological restoration, vegetation management for erosion control and invasive species management, passive-use, low impact recreation plans, shoreline and bluff erosion resiliency options, stormwater management, education and outreach, planned future improvements, and a funding plan to detail phasing and funding opportunities to implement the plan.

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