The mission of Save the Dunes, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana Dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

One of Indiana’s Oldest Environmental Groups

Save the Dunes’ origins go back to 1952 when a group of concerned citizens formed Save the Dunes Council and undertook a monumental effort to establish the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 1966.

In 1994 a complementary organization to the Council, then known as Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, was formed to focus on long-term, donor and grant-supported programs that would enhance the relationship between people and nature within and beyond the National Park.

Today these programs focus specifically on:

  • Land: Acquiring strategic acreage to protect vital duneland areas.
  • Stewardship: Implementing effective stewardship practices to enhance and protect biodiversity.
  • Water: Protecting the critically important Indiana Lake Michigan Watershed, as well as the Indiana Dunes, through effective watershed planning and implementation.
  • Education: Empowering adults and children with information and hands-on experiences that will help build sustainable communities.

As of January 2010, Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, now doing business as (dba) “Save the Dunes” merged the operations of the Council into its fold, carrying forth a long tradition of preservation, protection and restoration in the Indiana Dunes.


According to its bylaws, the objectives of Save the Dunes are to:

  1. Monitor and strive for enforcement of existing laws and regulations with respect to the operation and development of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, including the acquisition and use of land within the National Lakeshore boundaries.
  2. Identify and work toward the acquisition, preservation, and conservation of additional land and resources required to enhance and preserve the vitality of areas and ecosystems in the Lake Michigan Watershed of Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties, with emphasis on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and adjacent lands and sub-watersheds that ultimately impact the Dunes.
  3. Carry out educational programs and activities promoting public interest in the National Lakeshore and in the general principles of conservation.
  4. Assist the National Lakeshore in carrying out its federal mandate.
  5. Promote the reduction and elimination of air, water and land pollution throughout Northwest Indiana.
  6. Promote the protection of Great Lakes water quality and quantity, and the Lake Michigan shoreline.
  7. Cooperate and coordinate with other organizations concerned with protection of the natural environment whose objectives are not inconsistent with those of Save the Dunes.
  8. Organize or affiliate with educational or charitable entities whose objectives are consistent with those of Save the Dunes.
  9. Initiate and carry on other activities necessary to achieve those objectives.

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