Lake St. Clair Coastal Habitat and Restoration
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Integrated Coastal Management Tool

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Download Habitat Analyses: choose from pre-run habitat classifications by location

How is habitat classified in these analyses?


The Integrated Coastal Management Tool is a software program designed to assess or estimate coastal habitat change and thereby promote more informed coastal resource management decision-making. Existing data sets for coastal Lake St.Clair are available with the tool, which can be used to:

  • Inventory habitats
  • Assess land and water habitat conditions
  • Identify and rank potential restoration and conservation sites
  • Analyze “what if” scenarios for proposed changes in land use or land cover
  • Create maps, reports, and data tables


What types of data are analyzed? 

The tool uses existing GIS data layers such as land cover,streams, invasive species, threatened or endangered species, shoreline hardening and others to calculate habitat statistics. Terrestrial habitats can be assessed according to proximity (number of like patches within a given area), distance to the “nearest neighbor” (distance to nearest like habitat patch) as well as habitat quality (based on habitat size, core area, distance to streams, presence of shoreline hardening, presence of selected invasive species and threatened/endangered species/habitats. Information on percent impervious cover is an optional output. Although data files are included with the tool, users can replace these with their own and add additional data sets for a more detailed output.  Aquatic GIS data layers exist for depth and temperature and with additional data layers, the tool can also assess habitat based on: water quality,substrate, depth, energy exposure index, light, water temperature, aquatic invasives, threatened and endangered species and shorline hardening.

A Powerful but Easy-to-Use Tool

The Integrated Coastal Management Tool was designed with the local planner, the coastal conservation group, and the coastal manager in mind. Altering the scenarios is easy, which allows the user to quickly compare how different management decisions or actions will affect coastal habitat.

Geographic Application

Although the tool has been developed for a 10-mile coastal buffer around Lake St. Clair, it can perform the same functions with data from other areas to assess habitat elsewhere in the Great Lakes region, and indeed anywhere on the globe.

Order Your Free Copy Today!

Interested parties may request a free copy of the tool from the NOAA Coastal Servies Center. The tool is packaged on a CD-ROM with installation instructions, help materials, tutorials, example projects, spatial data sets for the Lake St. Clair project area, and tool software.

What software is needed?

GIS softwared installed on your computer is required (ESRIŪ ArcMap 8.3 with Spatial AnalystŪ), but no in-depth GIS experience is necessary. The required baseline data set is a land cover data in a raster format, but other data sets can be added.

What if I don't have the software?

You can acquire software here, or download habitat analyses online, which provides basic information about habitat qualities and quantities under different habitat classificaton schemes for any of the political jurisdictions in the Lake St. Clair Project Area. An analysis of each habitat classification scheme and has been conducted using the Integrated Coastal Management Tool, all of which are available for download through this website. These basic analyses can also be built upon using the full desktop tool. Also, the GIS shapefiles maybe used in earlier versions of ArcMap or other compatible software platform.