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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Coastal Dune Ecosystem

Coastal Dunes can be divided into 4 unique zones. Each zone has different aspects that make it more or less habitable for different organisms. The beach, foredune, trough, and backdune are all part of the coastal dune system.

Dune Zones

Beach

Beaches are zones where water meets land. Constant wave action, wind, and ice make this an extremely difficult habitat for organisms to survive in.

Foredune

The foredune is the area directly behind the beach. Marram grass and sand reed grass help stabilize the sand here to create an almost habitable area for plants and animals. Due to wind and water shifting the sand, however, this area is still difficult to live in.
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