The first ridge behind the beach where Pioneer species like marram grass and sand reed grass help stabilize the sand with their extensive root systems.  A stabilized foredune can also support wildflowers and shrubs like common milkweed, beach pea, bearberry, poison ivy, and wild grape.  Cottonwood trees can also be found in this landscape.


  • Low dune, parallel to the shoreline

  • Sparse vegetation with primarily pioneer species

    • hardy species which are the first to colonize an area and begin ecological succession

  • Periods of drought​

  • Storm waves

  • Alternating periods of sand burial and erosion

Sources: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University Extension, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coatal Program