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GLIN==> Michigan Sand Dune Day

Submitted by Sara Urbanski <surbanski@lakemichigan.org>


CONTACT:  Sara Urbanski

Lake Michigan Federation
(616) 850-0745


Sand Dune Defenders to be Honored on May 19

Grand Haven - On May 19, Michigan's second annual Sand Dune Day, the Lake
Michigan Federation will announce three inductees into the first ever Sand
Dune Defenders Hall of Fame.  Induction in the Sand Dune Defenders Hall of
Fame is a high honor that recognizes persons that have made a significant
and enduring contribution to protection of the Lake Michigan coastal dune
system.  The Sand Dune Defenders Hall of Fame honors activists, volunteers,
government officials, politicians, authors, artists, and community leaders.

The new inductees and Michigan's ecologically unique sand dunes will be the
focus at a celebration and award ceremony during the second annual Michigan
Sand Dune Day at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon.  In a proclamation
that cites the dunes' international prominence, Gov. Jennifer Granholm is
urging the public to join in "recognizing the significant contribution of
sand dunes to Michigan's heritage, economy and future prosperity."

The event, sponsored by the Lake Michigan Federation, will feature the Sand
Dune Defenders Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, a social hour, children's
activities, and a guided sunset dune hike. More dune hikes, presentations
and events are scheduled from May 16-22 at various locations up and down the
coast of Lake Michigan.

Sand Dune Day is meant to draw attention to the vulnerability of Michigan's
treasured dunes and increase public action on their behalf. Home to the
world's largest concentration of freshwater sand dunes -- some of them
towering up to 300 feet -- the state and its residents preside over a
special legacy, says Tanya Cabala, associate director for the Federation

"The dunes are breathtaking, yet more fragile than they appear.  Those who
love them and value their contribution to our region have a responsibility
to help make sure they are here for generations to come," says Cabala.

In past years, Michigan's citizens have pushed state action to protect the
dunes.  Public pressure prompted passage of the Michigan Sand Dune
Protection and Management Act in 1976, providing a framework to regulate
mining of the dunes, and in the 1980s, regulations for building on dunes.
Yet, they remain under siege to this day from continued mining and
development pressure.

The Lake Michigan Federation (www.lakemichigan.org) is a Great Lakes
citizens' organization that works to restore fish and wildlife habitat,
conserve land and water, and eliminate pollution in the watershed of
America's largest lake through education, research, law, science, economics,
and strategic partnerships.

WHAT:  Sand Dune Day Celebration

WHEN: Wednesday, May 19, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center, P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 6585
Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon.  (231) 798-3573

administrative assistant, Lake Michigan Federation (616) 850-0745, or

Sara Urbanski

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