Man vs. nature is always a compelling battle, but nature seems to hold an edge.

The very thing that makes Silver Lake a beautiful place is consuming a group of summer homes.

Shifting sand dunes are hardly a predictable land form. They have they're own agenda, and building cottages near them is a risky proposition.

Several summer homes are being threatened in the Silver Lake dunes in Oceana County near Mears. An 80 foot dune has shifted and is slowly making its move to reclaim the land the homes are built on.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and work crews hired by local residents have been winning the early rounds, thanks to a bulldozer that keeps the sand at bay, but experts say it's just a matter of time before nature wins out.

“It's a pretty powerful force,” says Mike Oosterbaan, whose family is on vacation at the lake told WZZM-13 News. “They (work crews) are working at it about nine hours a day and they don't seem to be making a whole lot of gain against it.”

“I don’t think it is hopeless,” summer resident Molly Voorhees told WZZM. “We will have to see who wins this fight. I sure hope it is the people. We would love to keep coming back here every year.”

The DNR says one structure has been crushed by the advancing dune and ten others are in serious danger of being wiped out. Residents have set up a GoFundMe page to help defray the costs.

Jody Johnson, DNR manager of nearby Silver Lake State Park told WOOD-TV 8 that parts of the park are in the path of the shifty dune. He said a parking lot, bathroom facility and the area where park rangers keep off-road vehicles will eventually be consumed, but not immediately. has a photo gallery of the dune's advance.


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