Michigan’s Saugatuck Dunes

The Saugatuck Coastal Dunes Area is a pristine assembly of beaches, freshwater dunes, water, woods and wetlands running from Douglas to Holland and covering approximately 2,500 acres along the Lake Michigan coastline and the mouth of the Kalamazoo River. A mix of private residences, historic sites and significant ecological habitat comprise the area, which local and national advocates have worked hard to preserve over many years.

The National Trust for Historical Preservation listed these dunes among America’s 11 Most Endangered Places. Proposed development could destabilize the dunes, creating substantial risk for the endangered and threatened wildlife that depend on this unique habitat. Further, it could threaten a unique way of life and tourism for the people who live in and visit the area.

The area includes globally imperiled inter-dunal wetlands, habitat that is home to several threatened and endangered species, including the prairie warbler, bald eagle, osprey, northern harrier and black terns. It also joins together Saugatuck’s Oval Beach, the Saugatuck Lighthouse Cottage and the Ox-Bow School of Art.

What is ELPC Doing?

ELPC serves as the legal counsel for the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance in its fight to protect the dunes and uphold local zoning rules. A billionaire developer scaled back his original plans after losing several battles with ELPC and our local allies.

ELPC’s public interest attorneys are working with our local allies to find local, state and federal legal levers to prevent the most destructive development from going forward.

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