Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Nicole Kamins is new executive director of Save the Dunes Council

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A new executive director of Save the Dunes has been named.

Nicole Kamins, 39, was tapped last week to replace Tom Anderson, who retired in the spring after many years at the helm of Save the Dunes.

Kamins’ commitment to this mission is reflected in her 11 years of work in advancing the City of Chicago’s Calumet Initiative, a project which included acquisition and restoration of more than 3,000 acres of open space in southeast Chicago, the group said in a statement.

Through her work on the Calumet Initiative, Kamins successfully secured grant funding and implemented the area’s largest restoration project at Hegewisch Marsh. “Kamins is known for her skill in working with diverse populations—local, state and federal government agencies, environmental organizations, academia, museums, nonprofits, residents and industry groups—to develop consensus on challenging projects,” the statement said.

“I am thrilled to become part of this incredibly powerful advocacy organization,” Kamins said. “The grassroots volunteers, board and staff of Save the Dunes have worked tirelessly for more than fifty years to protect this region’s most important ecological resource—the Indiana Dunes.”

Save the Dunes was founded in 1952 by citizen conservationist Dorothy Buell to preserve and protect the Indiana Dunes.

The volunteer-driven organization campaigned against industrial destruction of the region’s natural areas while advocating creation of a national park in the dunes.

The Council’s efforts achieved partial success with the creation of the Indiana Dunes Lakeshore in 1966. From 1966 to 1992 the group continued to lobby successfully for expansion of the park.

The Council has also worked to block parking and hotel developments in the Indiana Dunes State Park and worked successfully to protect the majority of the State Park with Nature Preserve status.

In recent years, as the Michigan City-based group has expanded its paid staff, it has added to its grassroots lobbyist role by putting more resources into environmental education and land stewardship activities.

“Without this organization, we simply would have lost the Dunes, and with them a national treasure,” Kamins said.

Deborah Chubb, president of the organization’s board of directors, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have Ms. Kamins take on the leadership of Save the Dunes. Her technical, environmental, marketing, and organizational skills coupled with such a strong commitment to advocacy make her the best possible person to move Save the Dunes to the next level of achievement.”

Kamins holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a certificate in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Arts in geography and environmental studies from Northeastern Illinois University. She comes to Save the Dunes from the Chicago Department of Environment.

“Kamins has her roots in the outdoors,” Save the Dunes said. “As a child she spent many weekends playing in the water and enjoying the respite the Dunes provided with her grandmother in Porter Beach. She learned about preservation of the Indiana Dunes, as barbed wire was finally installed at the foot of a Dune to prevent its destruction from off-road vehicles and climbers . . . She has a passion for local, sustainable farming and serves on the board of directors of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association.”


Posted 7/26/2010




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