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    List of national lakeshores and seashores of the United States

    List of national lakeshores and seashores of the United States

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    Welcome sign on the beach at Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida

    Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMapDownload coordinates as: KML

    The United States has ten protected areas known as national seashores and three known as national lakeshores, which are public lands operated by the National Park Service (NPS), an agency of the Department of the Interior. National seashores and lakeshores are coastal areas federally designated by Congress as being of natural and recreational significance as a preserved area.[1] All of the national lakeshores are on Lakes Michigan and Superior, and nine of the ten national seashores are on the Atlantic Ocean, including two on the Gulf of Mexico. Point Reyes is the only national seashore on the Pacific coast. While all of these protected sites have extensive beaches for recreation, they extend inland to include other natural resources like wetlands and marshes, forests, lakes and lagoons, and dunes. Many also feature historic lighthouses and estates.

    National seashores are located in ten states and national lakeshores are in two other states. Florida, North Carolina, and Michigan each have two. The largest national seashore or lakeshore is Gulf Islands, at over 137,000 acres (550 km2); the smallest is Fire Island, at 19,579 acres (79.23 km2). The total areas protected by national seashores and lakeshores are approximately 595,000 acres (2,410 km2) and 214,000 acres (870 km2), respectively.[1] These thirteen sites had a total visitation of 21.1 million people in 2017, led by Cape Cod at over 4 million visitors.[2] The lakeshores and seashores have an emphasis on recreation, and most allow hunting and off-road vehicles, which is not permitted in national parks.[3] Five seashores and lakeshores also include land more strictly protected as wilderness areas.[1]

    Shorelines, both on oceans and lakes, are particularly vulnerable to natural change. National seashores have experienced higher temperatures than in the past, with even hotter summers expected from the effects of climate change.[4] All nine seashores on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico feature low-lying barrier islands, which could be submerged by rising sea levels, and storm surges from severe hurricanes can disintegrate the beaches.[5] Warmer temperatures at the Great Lakes may result in continued drop in water levels, with unclear effects on the shoreline.[6] The Natural Resources Defense Council states that long-term planning for all sites must address erosion and visitor access.[4]


    1 History

    2 National seashores

    3 National lakeshores

    4 See also 5 References 6 External links


    The first federal protection of shoreline in the U.S. for public recreation purposes was in 1930, when Congress established "the principle of conserving the natural beauty of shore lines for recreational use" in northern Minnesota.[7] With a push for job-creating conservation programs during the Great Depression, the National Park Service expanded its role in managing national parks and national monuments to protecting historic sites and recreation areas, including coastlines. Its work controlling erosion at North Carolina's Outer Banks led to it considering designation of Cape Hatteras, where not only beach-going but also fishing and hunting were already popular, as a national beach or national recreation area, but debate over the meaning of this status and how the land would be acquired by the NPS delayed action, as existing and expected development made it unsuitable for a national park.[8] The 1936 Park, Parkway, and Recreational Area Study Act gave the Park Service a framework to designate and protect a wider variety of resources that included recreational land use. Congress authorized Cape Hatteras National Seashore in August 1937, and President Roosevelt signed the bill before visiting Roanoke Island. It was not established, however, until 1953 and dedicated in 1958 after permission to hunt was determined, the land was purchased and donated to the Park Service, and ongoing funding was authorized, but the process would serve as an example for how to create and manage similar dual-purpose sites.[8]

    A 1955 NPS survey of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts recommended sixteen areas that would be worthy of protection,[9] five of which would become national seashores. Studies of the Great Lakes and Pacific coast also led to designations, including Pictured Rocks, authorized as the first national lakeshore in 1966.[10] Funds from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and the Mission 66 program drove system expansion and land acquisition by the Park Service.[11] Altogether thirteen further national seashores and lakeshores would be authorized and established, all in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1961 law authorizing Cape Cod National Seashore was the first to include appropriations for purchasing land; to prevent local opposition it limited removal of private property and established an advisory commission with local representation, an innovation used for others.[12] The creation of Cape Cod recognized the importance of commitment to preserving entire areas threatened by development, even as philosophical questions of uniqueness, national importance, and protection of an urbanized area were raised. The national lakeshores, seashores, and riverways, although lacking recognizable monuments, would be rare coastal areas kept in more pristine condition. Their geologic features and biological significance of diverse plant life was also important for gaining federal protection.[13]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    [Answer] Two of the three official National Lakeshores are located in what state?

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    Michigan - Since the foundation of the National Park Service in 1916, the United States has designated three protected National Lakeshores. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is located in Wisconsin, while the other two — Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore — are in Michigan. Pictured Rocks, along the coast of Lake Superior, is home to sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, and inland lakes. Sleeping Bear Dunes, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is as old as the continental ice sheets. The park's most prominent features are the sand dunes perched about 400 feet above Lake Michigan. Both lakeshores are popular tourist destinations year-round, with camping, hiking, and climbing opportunities available for the adventurous.:

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    National Lakeshores

    There are four national lakeshores in the National Park System: Apostle Islands, Indiana Dunes, Pictured Rocks, and Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

    Wisconsin’s northernmost edge, consisting of the spectacular mainland sea caves at the tip of the Bayfield Peninsula and the matrix of beautiful and historic islands stretching 25 miles into Lake Superior, was forever protected when Congress established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 1970. Located on the northern tip of Sand Island, the Gothic-style Sand Island Light was constructed in 1881 from sandstone quarried right at the building site.

    Remembered today for his unyielding commitment to conservation, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin championed these remote, forested islands becoming part of the National Park System. His hope was to protect their undeveloped shorelines, red sandstone cliffs, windswept beaches, and protected anchorages for public use and from overdevelopment.

    The Apostle Islands joined an impressive list of unique and well-loved places set aside, beginning in 1872, for protection, public enjoyment, or scientific interest.

    The primary reason the Apostle Islands were set aside was for the purpose of preserving scenery and open space for recreation, with high hopes of economically rejuvenating the area. The park is now recognized for its ecological integrity, its significant maritime history, and its spiritual and subsistence value to the Ojibwe people past, present, and future.

    The eight historic Light Stations in the park were actually not added to the preservation mandate until years after the original bill passed, and were not a factor in the creation of the park. Yet today, these iconic lights—along with the sea caves and beaches—are what visitors report they most like about the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

    It would be overly simplistic to define Apostle Islands National Lakeshore merely through its watery connection to Lake Superior. True, the lakeshore is comprised of 21 islands that dot the lake, but this 69,372-acre mix of water and land also boasts more lighthouses than any unit of the National Park System. There are geologic oddities such as the sea caves that Lake Superior has carved into the shoreline. Plus, this area still retains some of the best examples of a boreal-temperate forest landscape in the Great Lakes region.

    And, of course, there is the lake.

    Julian Bay, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore/NPS

    Apostle Islands is often overlooked by the rest of the country, but is well known among park travelers from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. That changed a great deal this past winter, when enduring cold froze Superior and turned those sea caves into ice caves, dripping with fanciful frozen formations. Media attention from throughout the country and as far away as Australia generated the heaviest tourism the lakeshore has seen, winter or summer.

    For those who prefer summer visits, Apostle Islands is a kayaker'™s paradise. Of the 21 islands (presumably named by early Jesuits who, on early maps, referred to the scattering of islands as 'œIsle de 12 Apostles') you may camp on 19 of them. Got two weeks available for paddle-driven exploration? Apostle Islands can accommodate you.

    Campers without boats can take scheduled excursions to island campsites. The Stockton Island trip, for instance, offers a chance to hike and camp on the largest island in the park. Walk the beach at Julian Bay here and you'™ll discover the sand squeaks musically underfoot.

    If you prefer to explore on foot, the lakeshore'™s light towers harken to an earlier day when lightkeepers worked to warn Lake Superior ships away from the islands. Five are open for tours during the high season.

    Sunsets can be spectacular at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore/NPS

    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Indiana Dunes is the most popular of the four lakeshores. The park’s high visitation -- nearly 1.7 million in 2016 -- is attributable to its location on the south shore of Lake Michigan near major highways and urban centers. (The park is just 90 minutes from Chicago and 30 minutes from Gary, Indiana.)

    Visitors to this nearly 25-mile-long shoreline-hugging park enjoys beaches, sand dunes, bogs, woodlands, prairie remnants, and historical/cultural attractions including an 1830s French Canadian homestead and a working 1900-era farm (both partially restored). A wide array of recreational activities is available, including auto touring, nature walks and hiking, horseback riding, biking, swimming, fishing, camping, picnicking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing.

    Although big sand dunes may be the most visually striking feature of the park, Indiana Dunes is also renowned for its rich variety of plant and animal species. This park has more than 1,400 vascular plant species and ranks seventh among national parks in native plant diversity. Management of this park is made difficult by many factors, including heavy visitation, encroaching industry and related development, air and water pollution, and the fragmented nature of the park landholdings.

    Source : www.nationalparkstraveler.org

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