Following the 1995 Northwest Indiana Public Work Group meetings, what is today the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program researched the status of each of the suggestions to address concerns for the Lake Michigan coastal area made by the work group participants. Completed in June 1996, the information was compiled as NORTHWEST INDIANA PUBLIC WORK GROUP REPORTS: 865 ANNOTATIONS BY THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES. The information provided as a response to each of the suggestions was termed an annotation as the responses were not answers to the issues raised in the work groups. Important information contained within 865 ANNOTATIONS was not repeated in the current document.
The following document synthesized the suggestions made by the work groups and the annotations. Major topics were established as chapters based on the topics raised frequently by the work groups. Each chapter provided a discussion of the topic from a historical perspective. The chapters identified some of the issues of concern associated with the topic and overview the existing regulatory and programmatic frameworks available to federal, state, and local agencies, and individuals to address the concerns. Effort was made to include those activities underway in Northwest Indiana by agencies and organizations. In addition, the chapters provided models from other regions in Indiana and other states where similar concerns have been addressed. Finally, the chapters concluded with a discussion which provided perspective on steps that could be taken to move forward in addressing some of the issues.
NOAA's approval in 2002 of the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program, under the Coastal Zone Management Act, established a permanent entity within the DNR to address the kinds of issues presented by the Work Groups in 1995. The following materials are retained for their historical and contextual values, and they will be periodically updated for the Natural Resources Commission in support of the efforts of the Work Groups and the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program.