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Contact: Bruce Rowe, 219-395-1609
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: The National Park Service has released the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the "Shoreline Restoration and Management Plan" for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and is seeking public comment.
Funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service has prepared the draft Shoreline Restoration and Management Plan to restore Indiana's eroding beaches. This plan recommends methods to remedy erosion and damage to the dunes and beaches of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes most of the beaches along Indiana's shoreline from Trail Creek in Michigan City to U.S. Steel in Gary. As described in this draft Environmental Impact Statement, the shoreline in this area suffers from erosion that threatens national park resources, recreation opportunities, homes, industry, and businesses. The erosion is largely due to the natural movement of sand being obstructed by navigational harbors and shoreline structures, resulting in sand accretion (too much sand) in some areas and sand starvation (too little sand) in others. Sand dredging and artificial beach nourishment operations have been used as stop-gap measures, but this process is not sustainable and does not address the long-term problem of protecting this valuable shoreline.
The laws and policies governing the National Park Service and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore direct the NPS to identify the cause of resource damage and seek remedies that restore natural conditions when possible. In developing this shoreline restoration plan, the National Park Service has taken a leadership role in looking for solutions to this ongoing and increasing problem.
The draft Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared to provide scientifically-based alternatives for the restoration of natural sediment movement along the southern shore of Lake Michigan within and adjacent to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. For the purpose of this plan the shoreline was divided into four sections (referred to as reaches) based upon sediment erosion and accretion. The draft Environmental Impact Statement evaluates seven possible alternatives for reaches 1 and 2, extending from Crescent Dune to Willow Lane, including a no-action alternative. For reaches 3 and 4, extending from Willow Lane to the City of Gary's US Steel breakwater, four alternatives were evaluated, including a no-action alternative. All alternatives meet park purposes and objectives while protecting park resources by minimizing impacts, and are consistent with the legislative intent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, applicable NPS laws, policies, and regulations.
Beginning September 14, 2012, a written copy of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Shoreline Restoration and Management Plan is available in three different formats. It can be found online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu. A CD of the document can be requested by contacting 219-395-1547. Hard copies of the document will be available for review at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center at 1215 North State Road 49 in Porter, Indiana, and at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Headquarters located at 1100 North Mineral Springs Road in Porter, Indiana.
The best way to comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement is to use the electronic form located at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/indu. The 60 day comment period closes on November 13, 2012. Comments must be postmarked no later than November 13, 2012. If you cannot use the electronic form you may mail or drop off a hard copy comment form and/or letter to:
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Attention: Charles Morris, Environmental Protection Specialist
1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, Indiana 46304-1299
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 397 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.