Great Lakes dunes are threatened by development (e.g., residential, recreational, shoreline hardening), either directly within the community or in the surrounding landscape. Other threats include habitat alteration (e.g., beach grooming, vegetation removal), and recreational overuse (e.g., ATVs, beach access trails and boardwalks, trash dumping, campgrounds). This community is particurly threatened by activities that alter the natural movement and deposition of sand. ATVs and trampling by visitors kills vegetation, which leads to erosion, and in some cases results in dune "blow-outs." At a larger scale, the artificial management of lake levels may have altered past natural sand deposition patterns. A few Great Lakes dunes are threatened by invasive species, such as buckthorns (Rhamnus cathartica, Frangula alnus), shrubby honeysuckle (Lonicera tartarica), spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and exotic grasses (e.g., Festuca obtusa, F. ovina).
|Conservation Strategies and Management Practices||
Minimize or avoid habitat alteration within the dunes and surrounding landscape. Prevent recreational overuse. Prevent the spread of invasive exotic species into the dunes through appropriate direct management and by minimizing potential dispersal corridors, such as beach access trails and roads.