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Explore the shifting sands of Michigan's Critical Dune Areas in EGLE's latest story map
February 06, 2024
Michigan’s Critical Dune Area’s are part of the largest collection of freshwater dunes in the world. Their unique combination of topography, climate, and vegetation only occurs in the Great Lakes region. EGLE’s latest story map dives into the diversity, quality, and functions of the dunes and how the State is working to protect them.
A healthy, eroding critical dune with a wide, walkable beach and uninterrupted shoreline habitat.
Critical Dune Areas, or CDAs, have been protected by the State of Michigan since 1989 when the Sand Dunes Protection and Management Act was passed. Today EGLE’s Water Resources Division is charged with protecting these globally significant areas. Regulations balance protecting the dunes for present and future generations with the many benefits they provide such as economic development, tourism, and recreation.
Highlights of the story map include:
- Exploring CDAs in each of the 19 counties where they are found.
- Seeing how the topography of the dunes influences plant communities.
- Learning about the endangered (and adorable) piping plover.
- Visualizing the benefits of an uninterrupted flow of sand along and across the shoreline.
- Discovering how everyone, including those who don’t live in the CDA, can protect the dunes.
By learning and sharing information about Michigan’s incredible freshwater dunes, we can preserve, enhance, and restore our CDAs.
For more information about Dunes and CDAs:
EGLE’s Sand Dunes webpage.EGLE’s Critical Dunes webpage.