When people remember the infamous Dust Bowl they typically think of the devastation of blowing dust storms that swept though the Grain Belt, but those same effects were felt right here in Michigan as well.
After riding out one of the worst windstorms Lake Michigan has ever seen, residents of Grand Haven, MI woke on November 13, 1940 to find that the sand dune known as Dewey Hill had shifted nearly two feet. The 70mph winds caused by the storm had blown about 30,000 cubic feet of sand inland off the dunes fronting the lake. This served as a wake-up call to the ever growing problem of erosion issues in west Michigan.
The area the press dubbed "Michigan's Badlands" needed some serious help. The solution? The creation of the Ottawa Conservation District - known then as the West Ottawa Soil Conservation District - the first soil district in the northeastern U.S. Through beach grass and tree plantings, the dunes were able to be stabilized, one of the earliest success stories for the Ottawa Conservation District. They still stand today as part of the Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Preserve.
Read the full story published by MLive here.
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