Monday, October 27, 2008

USPS Great Lakes Dunes Stamps Issued at Sleeping Bear

Great Lakes Dunes stamp
Great Lakes Dunes USPS commemorative stamp sheet
(right click to view larger)
compiled from various sources

As part of the 2008 Commemorative Stamps series, the United States Postal Service has issued a set of 10 stamps featuring the Great Lakes Dunes. Differing from most pages of stamps, the large sheet features a dunes landscape. Various animals, birds, and plants appear in a natural setting. Ten key portions of the picture lift off and can be used as first class postage.

The First Day of Issue eremony was held October 2, at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Mark Breederland of Michigan Sea Grant gave an interpretive presentation about the spotted sandpiper, one of the stamps on the new sheet.

The Great Lakes Dunes stamp pane is tenth in a Nature of America series designed to promote appreciation of major plant and animal communities in the United States. According to a Postal Service press release, the dunes were chosen because they represent the "beauty and complexity of another major plant and animal community in the United States." All the images on the stamps were reviewed by scientists.

Breederland stated, "It's great to see this well-deserved national recognition of the Great Lakes dunes ecosystem in the Nature of America stamp series. These dune systems are truly national treasures and I hope this publicity will encourage citizens from across North America to visit, value and assist in conserving these dynamic and fragile ecosystems."

The Great Lakes shores are the location of the largest freshwater dune systems on Earth and variations are found on all five of the Great Lakes. largest of these dunes are located along the west Michigan shoreline.

Artist John Dawson of Hilo, HI depicted more than 27 different kinds of plants and animals in his colorful acrylic painting. The scene itself is imaginary as a dense grouping of plants and animals was necessary to illustrate as many species as possible on the stamp pane. Even so, all of the species could be encountered at or near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

See Michigan Sea Grant
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