WMU News

Environmental and natural history is focus of beach walk

July 16, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Area residents interested in the geology and natural history of the Lake Michigan coast can get detailed information from three experts during a sunset dune and beach walk at Grand Mere State Park in Stevensville Friday, July 25.

During the walk, which will leave at 7 p.m. from the park visitors' center, participants will explore a significant geological outcropping of rock that occurs along the shore as well as learn about such topics as dune formation and the flora and fauna that comprise the local ecosystem.

The event is sponsored by the Southwest Michigan Underwater Preserve Committee, which is helping formulate plans to add the southern portion of Lake Michigan to the state's network of underwater preserves, and by the new Great Lakes Center for Maritime Studies, which is a partnership between Western Michigan University and the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. Support for the event comes from the Fetzer Fund of the Kalamazoo Foundation.

Guiding the walk will be Charles Nelson, director of the Sarrett Nature Center in Benton Harbor, and Michael Latus, an adventure ranger for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. They will describe the environment of the area and some of the threats to the ecosystem. Kenneth Pott, curator of the Michigan Maritime Museum, also will talk about the maritime history of the area.

While there is no fee to participate in the walk, visitors must pay the state park entry fee.

For more information about the event, persons should contact Dr. Kristin M. Szylvian, WMU assistant professor of history, at 616 387-4639.


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