Case Anaylisis Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Essay

2455 Words Oct 11th, 2015 10 Pages
Case Analysis: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Stephen Brester
Ecology for Sustainable Management
SMGT 310
December 15, 2012

Executive Summary

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a vast area that is a unit of the National Park System and is also designated as a U.S. National Lakeshore. This park is located in Northwest Indiana, USA, on the southern shores of Lake Michigan. The park is comprised of over 15,000 acres of dunes, oak savannas, swamps, bogs, prairies, rivers, and forests. This park is a great example of a vast and unique environment resulting from the retreat of the last great continental glacier some 14,000 years ago. (1) This park is also located within an urban setting and is closely located to the
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It is also home to over 350 species of birds and other wildlife. Before the establishment of the national park, people had already made many negative effects to the national lakeshore’s natural areas. Forests were depleted in the early 1800’s, farmers cleared land in the late 1800’s, and industry came to the area in the early 1900’s. Residential development in the 1930’s and the construction of power plants and steel mills in the 1950’s have all contributed to impacts to the environment of the area. Logging lead to changing species composition of the forests and also led to erosion on the dunes. Farming altered natural wetland drainage areas and introduced exotic plant species and also led to extirpation of predatory animals important to the ecology of the area. Residential development has altered the landscape by draining natural wetland areas, modifying land-use, and adding large structures to the area destroying the natural systems of the environment. Industrial expansion in the area has led to eliminating natural areas while adding pollution to both air and water. (3)
(2)

Analysis This pristine environment has forever been changed with the amount of residential and industrial development. One of the biggest problems for the national lakeshore is erosion. The natural shoreline processes along southern Lake Michigan have been heavily impacted by the construction of navigational harbors or break walls and piers. These structures have altered Lake

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