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Contact: Bruce Rowe, 219-395-1609
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Four local organizations have joined together as the initial members of the Indiana Coastal Land Conservation Alliance. Save the Dunes, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Park Service signed the founding charter of the new alliance.
Indiana Coastal Land Conservation Alliance (ICLCA) seeks to represent land trusts, other nonprofit organizations, and government agencies whose missions are to protect, preserve, and restore the natural ecosystems of the Lake Michigan watershed area of Northwest Indiana.
The purposes and goals of the alliance are to:
· Preserve and protect the natural ecosystems and lands of Northwest Indiana.
· Restore degraded lands and landscapes to their natural conditions.
· Provide education to the public, especially school children, on the importance of the natural environment.
· Encourage people to use the outdoors and become involved in protecting natural lands.
· Seek to reduce the impact of development on natural lands by encouraging set-back ordinances, conservation easements, zoning, and buffer lands to protect areas of high natural value.
· Work with farmers, homeowners, businesses, industry, and governments to preserve privately- owned and publicly-owned natural and open lands.
Constantine Dillon, Superintendent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the initiator of the effort, stated that having such an alliance will allow the members to work cooperatively and strategically and leverage the capabilities and strengths of each member. "There have been many occasions when conservation entities have worked together for the benefit of the region," said Dillon, "this alliance is a means to improve that communication and collaboration."
Kris Krouse, Executive Director of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust remarked: "This alliance demonstrates our ability to work strategically and collaboratively to preserve important natural areas for the benefit of everyone in Northwest Indiana."
"Land conservation is a core value of all of our organizations, and this alliance reasserts our commitment to protecting natural resources through strategic partnerships" added Nicole Barker of Save the Dunes.
The ICLCA agreement does not change or supersede the mission and directives of the individual organizations.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.