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Habitat Surveys

In order to assess the current habitat conditions of the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern (LGBFR AOC), the UW-Green Bay project team launched a habitat mapping effort in July 2015 that combined field surveys with the use of satellite imagery and other reference maps in order to identify and map the primary plant communities. Survey teams comprised of a botanist and trained UW-Green Bay students and staff who ground-truthed different locations throughout the LGBFR AOC to classify habitat types. They used habitat types described in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan, though some categories were slightly modified to account for highly degraded habitats found in the LGBFR AOC. Photographs of all dominant habitat types were also taken at all sites visited by field crews.

Outdoor wetland area

After the field work was completed, the information was digitized into an ArcGIS shapefile. First, an initial habitat classification used air photos and infrared imagery to distinguish residential and other highly urbanized or industrialized lands ("Developed") and cultivated land ("Agricultural") from all other categories. Then, the natural habitats were digitized using the data collected in the field habitat mapping effort.

The digitized plant communities are available in an ArcGIS shapefile with code descriptions for download. Raw tabular habitat and photograph data are also available for download from this mapping effort (read "Metadata" tab in the file first and detailed field methods). Static maps are available here.

Ariel view of land

If you plan to use these data, please contact Erin Giese (, Robert Howe (, and Amy Wolf ( to track data usage, properly cite their work, and ask questions if needed.