Wetlands, Marshes and Swamps
In addition to the open water habitats of Lake Michigan and the inland lakes, there are a series of small wetlands, bogs, and marshes that provide important nesting areas for waterfowl, breeding areas for amphibians, and feeding areas for birds, reptiles, and a host of mammals. These wet areas also include rare plants in addition to a large number of sedges, rushes, aquatic grasses, cattails, and flowering plants that love to keep their roots wet throughout the year. Over 500 acres of wetland habitat have been identified, which is a significant amount considering the Lakeshore is known for its sand dunes and sandy, forested slopes. Thank the glaciers of bygone eras for gouging out the earth and leaving small depressions and lakes. Thousands of years of wind and active dunes have left a myriad of interdunal swales. Both of the processes have created a wonderful assortment of bogs and marshes for nature to use.
Did You Know?
The night sky is vital to many plants and animals that call Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore home and it holds a variety of meanings for many cultures. An unpolluted night sky is especially valuable to humans wishing to experience natural darkness, shooting stars, or the Milky Way.