Indiana Dunes named top 10 urban escape

Geographic popularity contests have been kind to the Lake Michigan shoreline this summer: The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has been named a top 10 urban escape by National Geographic. The distinction comes on the heels of another sandy hotspot, the Sleeping Bear Dunes in northwestern Michigan, named by Good Morning America as the most beautiful place in the country. The Indiana Dunes Lakeshore was lauded as an escape from nearby Gary, Ind., and Chicago because of its 15 miles of lakeshore, biodiversity, and dunes that offer panoramic views of the lake.  The “Top 10 Urban Escapes” list is part of National Geographic’s, “Ten Best of Everything — National Parks,” book. Nearby communities are banking on their unique shoreline with a recent redevelopment plan dubbed Gateway to the Indiana Dunes.  The collaboration of dune towns is designed to spur development complementary to the natural resources and beauty. They have something to build on as 2010 was a record year for the dunes with 2.2 million visitors – an all-time high

So if you’re tired of staring at buildings and breathing city air, northwest Indiana wants you.

Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes named nation’s favorite beauty

If it’s a beauty pageant, then Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes is certainly the crowd favorite. Good Morning America voters recently named it one of the most beautiful places in the country. And its 35 miles of sandy beaches and crystal waters earned it a top spot on a beach expert’s best Great Lakes beaches in July. Host Josh Elliott visited Lake Michigan’s best-kept secret and called the dunes “stunning monuments to the passage of time.” They formed when ice sheets melted and formed glacial lakes, pushing rock debris to the shoreline. Now covered in sand, the dunes have captured national attention for their beauty; they are even celebrity chef Mario Batali’s favorite vacation spot.

PFCs are contaminant of new concern in Indiana Dunes’ great blue herons

What do cologne and Indiana’s great blue herons have in common? They both contain chemicals that are increasingly worrisome to Great Lakes officials. A list of contaminants of emerging concern includes synthetic musks and perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. Musks are a key ingredient of perfume. PFCs have had a bevy of industrial uses including fire-fighting foams and stain-resistant Scotchgard.

Report: Climate change greatest threat to national parks; Indiana Dunes among most at risk

Click each park to see its threats. View Great Lakes Parks in Peril in a larger map
By Haley Walker and Yang Zhang
Nov. 4, 2009

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is among U.S. national parks most vulnerable to climate change, according to a recent report. The park on the southern end of Lake Michigan faces an increase in flooding, overcrowding and air pollution and a loss of wildlife, plants and fish. Other parks in the Great Lakes region are also at risk of these effects.

Saugatuck dunes deal great news for future

(MI) Kalamazoo Gazette – Helen Taylor couldn’t have said it any better. Taylor, The Nature Conservancy’s state director, described the recent agreement to acquire 171 acres of dunes at Saugatuck as “a huge step forward in the marathon effort to protect this property in perpetuity for the people of Michigan.”

The area includes the south portion of the McClendon property (formerly the Denison property) adjacent to Saugatuck’s Oval Beach City Park. Announcement of the deal was made by the city of Saugatuck, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan and The Nature Conservancy. More