Great Lakes Coastal Information

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This page provides information about FEMA's ongoing floodplain mapping work in the coastal areas adjacent to the Great Lakes. The primary audience for this page are communities and residents in the Great Lakes coastal area, as well as others interested in lake coast flood analysis.

Map of the Great Lakes Coastal area, including the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio in FEMA Region 5, Pennsylvania in FEMA Region 3, and New York in FEMA Region 2.

FEMA has initiated a coastal analysis and mapping study to produce updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for coastal counties along the Great Lakes. The new Great Lakes Coastal Flood Study utilizes the updated 1-percent annual chance coastal flood elevations obtained from a comprehensive storm surge study being developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to increase the understanding of local flood risk, mitigation efforts, and improve local community resilience towards flood losses (life, property, and business) in the Great Lakes.

As one of the most extensive coastal storm surge analyses to date, the Great Lakes Coastal Flood Study encompasses coastal floodplains in all eight U.S. states lining the coast of the Great Lakes. Spanning approximately 4,670 miles, the U.S. shoreline of the Great Lakes runs through Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all of which pose significant geographical differences when measuring flood risk in comparison to other coastal areas. Unlike ocean coastal areas, flooding in the Great Lakes is heavily dependent upon local lake levels and ice cover. These phenomena, along with new research methodologies and data, are being taken into consideration as the new FIRMs are produced. 

To obtain information on the coastal study being conducted for all of the Great Lakes, please visit the Great Lakes Coastal Flood Study website.

For general information about the FEMA Regional offices responsible for managing the Great Lakes coastal flood studies, please visit the following websites:

For More Information

  • Find answers to many of your questions by visiting our Coastal Frequently Asked Questions page.

  • The Coastal Flood Risk Resources page, organized by resource type, contains links to useful fact sheets, flyers, brochures, and other helpful documents produced by FEMA, other Federal agencies, State agencies, Water Management Districts, and other entities.


Last Updated: 
02/25/2015 - 16:07
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