Because the "general" shoreline classification (used by the sea coast surveys) would eliminate the Lake ends, the connecting waters and the outlet to the sea a "total" shoreline figure was used on the Great Lakes Survey. The United States portion of this shoreline equals 5,480 miles--1,480 of which encompass the many offshore islands.
Of the total 710 miles presently in public ownership 16 miles encompass military reservations, municipal water works, public port facilities etc. and thus are not available for recreation. This leaves only 694 miles of existing public recreational shoreline. Distribution of this public shoreline is shown in the table below.
The Survey found that 4,786 miles of the over-all shoreline are in private ownership and hence not usable by the public for recreation. Of this private ownership, 426 miles were identified during the survey as possessing important remaining opportunities for recreation and other public benefits. These were divided among 66 individual areas with 40 in Michigan, 8 in New York, 7 in Wisconsin, 6 in Ohio, 2 in Minnesota, and one each in Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
The 66 individual areas include 5 with 118 miles of shoreline for possible inclusion in the National Park System, 2 major wildlife areas of possible national significance, 39 areas for state parks, 8 state forest areas, 1 state wildlife area, and 11 areas of local significance. Distribution of these potential public areas is shown in the following table.
Existing & Potential
ALL FIGURES INDICATE SHORELINE MILES
Last Updated: 27-Jun-2007