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Harrington Beach Lacustrine Forest

Back to Southern Lake Michigan

Counties: Ozaukee


Harrington Beach Lacustrine Forest, 20 Oct. 2000. Hardwood swamp. Photograph, E.J. Judziewicz.

Site Description

Harrington Beach Lacustrine Forest is located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan in northeastern Ozaukee County. The lacustrine forest is located just west of the sandy shoreline beach and lies in a shallow depression underlain by sandy loam soils. It is a moderate- to good-quality mature second-growth northern wet-mesic forest, dominated by green and black ash, white cedar and basswood. This forest type is regionally rare and is heavily used by migratory birds.

This site is protected as part of Harrington Beach State Park. Other features in the park include a 23-acre lake occupying an abandoned dolomite quarry in the center of the park and a one mile long sandy beach. The beach receives heavy recreational use, limiting its potential as secure habitat for most beach inhabiting plants and animals. Abandoned agricultural lands nearby buffer the forest and currently provide habitat for grassland birds and other species that inhabit early successional vegetation. The entire park is heavily used by migratory birds, as are the adjoining waters of Lake Michigan.

Additional Comments

Threats include heavy recreational use, excessive deer browse, and rapidly increasing urbanization.

Text describing this site was published previously in a 2002 DNR publication entitled “A Data Compilation and Assessment of Coastal Wetlands of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes” by E.J. Epstein, A. Galvin and W.A. Smith.

NOAA logo Wisconsin Coastal Management Program logo This project was funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Last revised: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:21:14 CDT