Web-Based Environmental Assessment Tool Expansion

Project Background

Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and Michigan State University have independently developed web based environmental assessment tools designed to help local units of government and environmental groups gauge and improve the effectiveness of their natural resource management initiatives. These tools, Wisconsin Water Star and the Great Lakes Clean Communities Network’s Ecological Scorecard, could gain wider adoption in the North Central Region if more stakeholders are aware they exist and understand how they can be utilized or adapted to work in each state.


This project investigated the potential for expanding the Wisconsin Water Star program to Michigan and Ohio through integrating Wisconsin Water Star with Michigan State University’s Ecological Score Card. The project’s final report outlined a strategy to support the wider adoption of Michigan and Wisconsin’s existing web based environmental assessments in the North Central Region, and discussed the opportunities for further integration of these existing tools into a common, regional, web based presence.

Project Impacts and Outcomes

This project delivered a multi-state plan to help states in the North Central Region utilize the Ecological Score Care and adapt the Wisconsin Water Star program to support the water resource management needs of each state.

The first regional webinar designed to introduce Water Star and the Ecological Score Card to stakeholders in the North Central Region, and get input on how these programs could be better marketed and adapted, occurred in February 2015. During this 90-minute webinar, UW-Extension, Michigan State University, and their partners introduced these innovative tools, described how they benefit a local community, and facilitated feedback on how the tools can be modified to enhance their broader use. You can watch the webinar here.


Jeremiah Asher
Director of Information Technology
Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University
(517) 432-5586