Welcome to the
Eastern Lake Ontario
Dunes and Wetlands Area

Along Lake Ontario’s eastern shore is a 17-mile stretch of beaches, wetlands, woodlands, ponds, and creeks known as the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Wetland Area. Reaching from the mouth of the Salmon River north to the outlet of Black Pond, the area supports a diversity of plants and wildlife. This barrier system contains the largest and most extensive freshwater sand dune formations in New York State. These natural sand dunes along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario are an integral part of the unique coastal barrier environment.

Discover more about this fascinating coastal environment, including it's flora and fauna, public trails and boat routes, and how you can help protect this area.

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Take a walk along the beach or swim, picnic, camp, and play ball at Southwick Beach State Park and Sandy Island Beach State Park. If you prefer a more rustic setting try hiking, boating, bird watching, fishing, or hunting in the three wildlife management areas (Deer Creek, Lakeview Marsh and Black Pond) or El Dorado Nature Preserve. The numerous creeks throughout the ELODWA have slight currents, perfect for canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding.

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Looking for more information about this unique region? This section offers educational resources and activities to help visitors and educators experience and share the unique ELODWA region more broadly. All of these resources directly address the ELODWA.

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Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Coalition

The Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Coalition, which was formed in 1985, promotes and supports the protection, stabilization, restoration and optimum public use in keeping with private property rights of the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Wetlands Area. The Coalition provides technical and educational services to its member organizations, property owners and public officials focused on the wise use and management of this unique natural resource.

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Photo point monitoring uses repeat photography taken from the same location and field of view as the original photo, over a period of time. This method of monitoring vegetation and ecosystem changes is effective and inexpensive. Established photomonitoring points for the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes show changes to the landscape over time.