The Grand Traverse Bay Watershed is a coastal watershed on the northeastern margin of Lake Michigan. An important area for agriculture and tourism, the Grand Traverse is currently shifting from a winter snow cover pattern of seasonal snowpack to a regime in which snow cover is ephemeral and event-driven. Historical data for the region indicates that it may be a bellwether for other ecosystems around Lake Michigan, reacting to changes before any signal is observed in other areas along the Great Lakes coastline. The likelihood that climate change will have a large impact on this watershed makes it all the more important as an area of observation, and the long-term monitoring dataset is vital in the development and calibration of hydrologic models to predict future changes in the region.
Funding agencies: NOAA Sea Grant program; NSF Multi-Scale Modeling and Monitoring