dunes

Creative Commons

 

Michigan is home to twice as many sand dunes as previously thought.

A researcher says maps done in the 80s only accounted for large dunes, usually found along a lakeshore, but a new map shows there are over 230,000 acres of dunes in the state.

Michigan State University’s Geography Chair Alan Arbogast says he looked at remotely sensed imagery, aerial photos, topographic maps and went on field visits to complete the map.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The state of Michigan is buying part of a controversial sand mine near Ludington. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will buy 100 acres of sand dunes, wetlands and forests for $17 million from Sargent Sand, a sand mining company.

"This purchase will permanently protect a beautiful tract of critical sand dunes, conserving a unique landform and its plants and animals for public enjoyment," DNR Director Keith Creagh says in a press release.

This week Michigan Radio is airing a series called Community Vibe. We’re showcasing one interesting thing about different towns across the state.

Today we’ll visit the neighboring communities of Saugatuck and Douglas. They’re artsy, waterfront resort towns in West Michigan. Although Saugatuck-Douglas sits in what’s known to be the Bible belt of the state, it’s also home to a vacation destination to a large gay community. Michigan Radio’s Emily Fox reports on how Saugatuck-Douglas became the gay resort of the Midwest.


Since the 1930s, Sargent Sand Company has held a permit to mine sand from its property that's surrounded by Ludington State Park.

For years, the 400 acre mine was dormant as the company negotiated to sell its land to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

That sale fell through.

Last year, the mine cranked back up again, and the neighbors aren’t too happy about it.

Drive on I-94 just outside Chicago between Gary and Michigan City, Ind., and you catch a glimpse of the massive sand dunes that make up the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Tucked between coal plants and steel mills, the dunes are as high as 200 feet, stretching along the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan.

These dunes were formed some 14,000 years ago, and most are now covered in forest, says park ranger Bruce Rowe, who has worked at the lake shore for 30 years.