Wisconsin Wetland Inventory maps show graphic representations of the type, size and location of wetlands in Wisconsin. These maps have been prepared from the analysis of high altitude imagery in conjunction with soil surveys, topographic maps, previous wetland inventories and field work.
State statutes define a wetland as “an area where water is at, near or above the land surface long enough to be capable of supporting aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation and which has soils indicative of wet conditions.”
The principal focus of the wetland inventory is to produce wetland maps that are graphic representations of the type, size and location of wetlands in Wisconsin. Currently, there are two different datasets that have been created using different mapping methods and technologies.
The majority of the state was mapped using traditional stereo-pair, black-and-white, infrared photography. Within this context, the objective was to provide reconnaissance level information on the location, type, size of these habitats such that they are accurate at the nominal scale of the 1:24,000 (1 inch = 2000 feet) base map.
LiDAR technology has advanced the ability to see surface features and has allowed for improved wetland and surface water mapping. New wetland mapping is underway in areas across the state at a nominal scale of 1:2000 (1 inch = 166.7 feet).
See the status maps below for more information.
The DNR recognizes the limitations of using remotely sensed information as the primary data source. They are to be used as a guide for planning purposes.
There is no attempt, in either the design or products of this inventory, to define the limits of jurisdiction of any federal, state, or local government or to establish the geographical scope of the regulatory programs of government agencies. Anyone intending to engage in activities involving modifications within or adjacent to wetland areas should seek the advice of appropriate federal, state, or local agencies concerning specified agency regulatory programs and jurisdictions that may affect such activities. The most accurate method of determining the legal extent of a wetland for federal or state regulations is a field delineation of the wetland boundary by a professional trained in wetland delineation techniques.
The Wisconsin Wetland Inventory was established in 1978 to help protect wetlands. The DNR completed the initial inventory in 1984 after being directed to map the state’s wetlands. You can learn more about the Wisconsin Wetland Inventory through the following links.
- Wisconsin Wetland Acreage Facts
- Wisconsin Wetland Inventory Status Map for wetland data created using traditional, stereo-pair, aerial photography.
- Wisconsin Wetland Inventory Classification Guide for wetland data created using traditional, stereo-pair, aerial photography.
- Current Wetland Mapping Methods using LiDAR.
- Status Map for wetlands mapped using LiDAR.
View wetland maps online
- For customers without GIS software
You can choose data layers, view and print what you need.
- For customers with GIS software
Wisconsin Wetland Inventory dynamic service. This version allows greater viewing flexibility but displays at 1:3000 scale or larger.
Wisconsin Wetland Inventory cached service. It allows for faster display.
Wisconsin Wetland Inventory statewide geodatabase
June 1, 2021: Entirely new wetland mapping for select areas across Wisconsin. The data are preliminary. Contact Calvin Lawrence with feedback or issues.
- More information
- For more information on the inventory, please contact:
- Amanda Minks
Wetlands inventory coordinator
- For more information on the digital inventory, please contact:
- Calvin Lawrence
GIS specialist for the wetlands inventory
Funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant #NA19NOS4190087.