Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Mapping

Long-term monitoring of Great Lakes coastal wetlands is currently accomplished using SOLEC (State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference) or GLEI (Great Lakes Environmental Indicators) indicators. The weakest element of these management tools is their reliance on old, incomplete and static landscape-scale data. This severely impacts the monitoring systems ability to detect the extent and effect from two of the most significant coastal wetland stressors; development and invasive plant species. Our map will be the first comprehensive wetland delineation of the bi-national coastal Great Lakes, and will include adjacent land use and at least two invasive plant species: Typha spp. and Phragmites australis.



Random Forests:

Field Data:

Multi-Season Passive and Active Satellite Imagery Synthesis:

Fusion of moderate resolution (10-30 m) satellite remote sensing from optical and Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) sensors

Image Interpretation:

For Additional Information

Laura Bourgeau-Chavez
Research Scientist

Current Mapping Status


Map Validation

Roughly 20% of the data have been reserved for validation. The validation data will be used to calculate users and producers accuracy - overall accuracy goals are 80% and individual wetland class accuracies above 70%.

Overall Basin Accuracy = 94%

Link to Interactive Mapping Website

In the News and Articles


Bourgeau-Chavez, L., Endres, S., Battaglia, M., Miller, M.E., Banda, E., Laubach, Z., Higman, P., Chow-Fraser, P., Marcaccio, J. Development of a Bi-National Great Lakes Coastal Wetland and Land Use Map Using Three-Season PALSAR and Landsat Imagery. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 8655-8682.