Spring 2023 CALM Network Meeting Summary


Summary of the Spring 2023 CALM Network Meeting held virtually on April 21, 2023.


Spring 2023 CALM Network Meeting Summary


The Collaborative Action for Lake Michigan (CALM) Coastal Resilience network meeting was held virtually on April 21, 2023. CALM is a network for communities along Wisconsin’s entire Lake Michigan coastline working to increase collaboration, support development of local policies and plans, and coordinate the regional prioritization of hazard needs.

This meeting of the CALM network featured presentations about resilience and climate adaptation projects that have leveraged different types of funding sources as well as new data that will be coming from NOAA and an online resource of water infrastructure practices.

The event was attended by 40 stakeholders from state agencies, local municipalities, academic institutions, consulting and engineering firms, sewerage districts, non-profit organizations, regional planning commissions, as well as other organizations and partnerships working on coastal resilience in Wisconsin.

A recording of this meeting is available below along with a summary of the meeting’s presentations..

If you do not already receive the monthly Wisconsin Coastal Resilience Newsletter, you can sign up online. The newsletter highlights new or relevant tools and resources, case studies, events, funding sources, and opportunities to collaborate with others in the CALM network. If you have content to add to the newsletter, reach out to Lydia Salus.






Presenter Slides

Katie Sommers – Fox Point Beach Drive Coastal Resiliency Project (WEM)

Scott Brandmeier – Fox Point Beach Drive Coastal Resiliency Project (Village of Fox Point)

James Polidori – Improving Great Lakes Water Infrastructure Blueprint



This meeting featured presentations about resilience and climate adaptation projects that have leveraged different types of funding sources as well as data and resources that can support on-the-ground projects.

Network Updates

Lydia Salus, Wisconsin Sea Grant & Wisconsin Coastal Management Program

The funding opportunities webpage now features a Hazards and Resilience Funding Inventory. This inventory catalogues funding sources that can be used towards addressing coastal hazards and building coastal resilience. The inventory is searchable and has options to filter the results based on administering organization, eligible project types, award amount, match requirements, and application cycle. You can click on any opportunity to find more information about the grant. Case studies about how Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coastal communities have leveraged different funding sources are available below the funding inventory.

Additionally, the funding webpage lists supplementary funding opportunities that could be used in tandem with the grants in the inventory or for other coastal projects. The focus areas of these other funding sources include wetlands, flooding, habitat, water quality, green infrastructure, JEDI, and data.

The Fox Point project and Harbor District projects described below leveraged funding opportunities that are featured in the Hazards and Resilience Funding Inventory.

Fox Point Beach Drive Coastal Resiliency Project

Katie Sommers, Wisconsin Emergency Management and Scott Brandmeier, Village of Fox Point

Katie and Scott shared how the Village of Fox Point was able to leverage a FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant to support the Beach Drive Coastal Resiliency Project. After the most recent high water period, erosion threatened a half mile of road infrastructure, stormwater infrastructure, and utilities adjacent to the Lake in Fox Point. Katie provided an overview about how Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) funds projects in the coastal zone through FEMA programs. She also shared how WEM worked with Fox Point to apply for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant including components like the benefit-cost analysis. Scott shared before pictures highlighting the damage caused by the high water levels and storms. He discussed how documenting storm damage over time was integral to their application to FEMA. Scott also shared more details about how that section of coastline changed over time and the impact of erosion on the municipal infrastructure. He talked about the temporary protection the Village placed and what next steps for the project are.

From the process, the Village learned that WEM is a good partner for navigating FEMA funding opportunities. Additionally, Scott shared that the permitting process took longer than they anticipated. Finally, he shared the importance of communicating with the public throughout the entire project.

Katie answered a question about how the benefit-cost analysis determines a project’s eligibility for funding.

Milwaukee Harbor Ecological Breakwater

Aaron Zeleske, Harbor District 

Aaron presented about a recently funded project through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s National Coastal Resilience Fund. The National Coastal Resilience Fund supports projects that connect coastal resilience and nature-based solutions. The Harbor district is developing plans to expand their U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) breakwater to incorporate a restored wetland behind the existing structure. This project would allow the breakwater to continue protect the port from wave energy while providing ecological enhancements to the coastal environment. The grant will fund engineering, design, and site assessment activities. This project will connect the Harbor District, Port of Milwaukee, USACE, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

New and Upcoming Great Lakes Geospatial Data

Lydia Salus for Brandon Krumwiede, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Brandon provided several updates about new and upcoming data out of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Great Lakes. NOAA completed a topobathy lidar survey over Washington Island and portion of Door Peninsula this last summer. The data will be made publicly available soon through NOAA’s Data Access Viewer. Additionally, they are updating the Lake Level Viewer. This is the first major update to the tool since its release in 2014. The update will include a new user interface, new water levels, new coverage area, and new visualizations. Lastly, NOAA is working on a high resolution Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) landcover dataset for the Great Lakes portion of the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Coastal-Management Data Infrastructure Project

Jim Giglierano, WI Department of Administration AND Howard Veregin, State Cartographer’s Office

Jim shared an update on the Wisconsin Coastal-Management Data Infrastructure (WICDI) Project. The main product of this project is a culvert survey. Data collection started in the Lake Superior region and has now moved to the Lake Michigan region. Culverts are important for resiliency because they can be used in models to help predict where water will flow under various conditions. Jim discussed how they would like to expand their data collection and continue reaching out to Lake Michigan communities to gather more data.

Howard connected the culvert survey to a predictive model that looks at culvert vulnerability. Howard explained that results of the model can help municipalities with planning because it would allow managers to determine which culverts are at risk of being overwhelmed during hydrologic events.

Blueprint for Improving Great Lakes Water Infrastructure 

James Polidori, Great Lakes Commission

James shared a blueprint from the Great Lakes Commission which aims to improve water infrastructure in the Great Lakes region. The blueprint looks at drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. The approaches outlined in the blueprint look at equitably investing in water infrastructure and preparing the basin for future climate conditions. The four priority areas of the blueprint are public health and safety, community engagement and trust-building, equitable distribution of investments and benefits, and asset management and workforce development. James also shared a regional implementation tactic map which is an online map highlighting implementation tactics and success stories that support the actions outlined in the blueprint. The Great Lakes Commission continues to add new tactics and success stories to the map.


The next CALM event is expected to be held in June 2023. Stay tuned for more information!


For questions or comments about CALM, please contact Lydia Salus, Project Coordinator.

(608) 266-3687    |    lydia.salus@wisconsin.gov