Among the threats identified along Michiganís coastal dunes, the following are among the most widespread or severe:
Herbaceous plants commonly invading the open dunes include babyís-breath, bouncing bet, bladder campion, Canada bluegrass, autumn olive, scots pine, smooth brome grass, and spotted knapweed. A recent arrival to the sandy shoreline is the zebra mussel.
The effect of off-road vehicles and, in some cases, overly heavy pedestrian use have been well documented on the dunes. Extreme levels of use have eliminated almost all vegetation from a large portion of the dunes, creating conditions that we associate with the most barren, extreme desert environments.
Homes built within the dunes cause numerous problems. It is not unusual during a study of coastal residential areas to encounter homes whose foundations have been eroded by bluff erosion or homes, swimming pools, or driveways buried by sand.
In the recent past, coastal dunes were an extremely important source of sand for industrial uses. One of the most significant industrial uses of dune sand was for creating foundry casting molds.