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Environment & Climate Change

Sleeping Bear park officials ask visitors to stop building structures on lakeshore

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes park officials are asking people to stop building structures out of driftwood and other materials. Pictured is a beach just east of Pyramid Point.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore officials want guests to stop building structures on the beach. High water levels and erosion pulled countless trees and other wooden structures into Lake Michigan over the past couple years.

As a result, driftwood and other materials continue to wash on shore.

That’s where visitors build structures like tipis and other large piles of wood.

Tom Ulrich is the Deputy Superintendent at Sleeping Bear Dunes.

“In the national park of course, our goal is to keep things as natural as possible, and certainly these are not natural," he said. "They’re little human structures along the beach.”

Ulrich says even cairns — which are rocks stacked on top of each other — should be avoided on the lakeshore.

Sandcastles however, are just fine.

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