Preventative Search and Rescue – PSAR

Prior to 2017, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore conducted more than 60 search and rescue missions each year. Most of these occur at the Dune Climb and at the Lake Michigan Overlook stop on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This project provides a trained volunteer to educate visitors about the safety issues they may face at these two popular spots in the park. Volunteers and Park staff will be available to give advice on appropriate planning, protective clothing, etc. to park visitors.

Volunteers and Park staff will be stationed at the Dune Climb and Pierce Stocking Drive Lake Michigan Overlook during peak use times. To become a PSAR Volunteer, complete a Volunteer Registration and one of our Volunteer Coordinators will get in touch with you to answer questions and get you into the program.

Since beginning this program in 2017, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has reduced 911 calls dramatically (8 calls in 2019 vs. 60 calls in 2017). Part of this reduction is due to this program and part due to increased public education and improved signage.

PSAR Volunteer talking to visitors walking from Dune Climb to Lake Michigan

Looking up at the Lake Michigan Overlook Deck from the beach

Visitor stands on the Sleeping Bear Bluff at the Lake Michigan Overlook

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