The dunes at Pt. Betsie are part of the largest freshwater dune system in the world, which covers 275,000 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline. The dunes provide critical habitat for rare species, including Pitcher’s thistle. They have also been identified as a potential nesting site for piping plover as the population of this endangered species recovers. The Nature Conservancy works with partners through the Michigan Dune Alliance to conserve this rare coastal ecosystem.