One of Michigan's most unique geologic features is its spectacular coastal dunes. While epic in scale and beauty, many don't realize the dunes are made up of several ecosystems, all of which are as fragile as dune grass and move fluidly like water.

Our dunes are a vital resource to Michigan's environment -- especially our Critical Dune areas. And because of its incredibly complex and intricate ecosystems, they require special care and handling when humans interact with through recreation, construction, and co-habitation.

Coastal Conservation Districts operating within Michigan's Critical Dune areas help local residents learn best practices when playing, working and living our beautiful "sleeping" giants.



With over 70,000 acres of Critical Dunes along our lakeshore, the idea that one individual's actions could determine the future quality of the landscape is almost unimaginable. Yet it is individual land management that will truly determine the protection of our rare and ecologically fragile coastal dunes.

Which is why building and vegetation removal in Michigan’s Critical Dunes is regulated by the Sand Dune Protection Management Act. Our Conservation Districts work with local landowners -- and partner with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) -- to help nurture and protect our spectacular dune ecosystems.

Learn more about Michigan’s Critical Dunes, the Sand Dune Protection and Management Act, where critical dune areas are located, and which specific activities are regulated by contacting your local Conservation District today.