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Book Cover
Our Fourth Shore
Great Lakes Shoreline






The Lakes and Their Areas

A Region for Recreation

Sands and Scenery

The Land and Its Life

Discovery and Development


Great Lakes Shoreline Recreation Area Survey
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Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario — these are the Great Lakes. Together with their connecting waters and outlet to the sea, they form more than one-third of our International Boundary with Canada. On the following pages is a report on the recreation resources of that portion of the Great Lakes within the United States. Possessing a shoreline of 5,500 miles, these waters have been aptly called OUR FOURTH SHORE.

Like the shores of our Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts, those of the Great Lakes are being threatened by the encroaching rumble of bulldozers; bulldozers designed to level, to scar and to alter forever our national lakeshore heritage. In order to determine what portions of undeveloped shoreline remained that were worthy of preservation for their scenic, natural or other recreation values, the National Park Service conducted a survey of the United States shoreline of the Great Lakes during the summers of 1957 and 1958. This survey was similar in pattern and objectives to those previously conducted along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts.

A shoreline study of this nature had no precedent on the Great Lakes, and its accomplishment has been made possible through the generous donation of funds by private foundations. Completion within the allotted time was greatly facilitated by the wholehearted and efficient assistance of the United States Coast Guard. Other major contributions, too numerous to itemize, were made by federal, state and local agencies along with those of many public-spirited individuals and organizations.

The over-all findings and recommendations of the survey are candidly set forth within these covers. Detailed information on individual areas within the various States is included in a separate supplement entitled The Remaining Opportunities.

map of Great Lakes
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Last Modified: Mon, Dec 22 2003 10:00:00 pm PDT

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