The Northwest Indiana Forum and Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning
Commission in cooperation with the Indiana Wildlife Federation today
welcomed members of the China Environment Forum for a Lake Michigan
shoreline boat tour and afternoon environmental discussion.
Strategies, tools, and cooperative initiatives highlighting environmental
improvements in Northwest Indiana are the focus of their research visit to
The delegation will learn about regional environmental challenges,
collaboration, improvements, and solutions, as well as success stories
directly from the experts. In an effort to tackle severe water pollution in
China’s Lake Tai, they will utilize the lessons learned in Northwest Indiana
to help stem the problems they face.
Kay Nelson and Don Koliboski, directors of environmental affairs and
economic development respectively for the Forum, will use the Marquette
Vision Plan as a guide to showcase shoreline development from the lake
perspective, identifying enhanced and improved areas for the delegation.
Later in the day, Nelson will focus on how Northwest Indiana businesses,
communities, and residents work cooperatively to wisely use and protect one
of the region’s greatest assets.
“Our businesses and industries take environmental stewardship seriously,”
Nelson said. “We will share examples of how collaborative efforts involving
various stakeholder groups have moved Northwest Indiana forward. It is our
hope that the delegation will return to China with innovative ideas,
coordinated approaches, communication methods and perhaps solutions to their
Also on the docket, NIRPC Environmental Director Kathy Luther will further
address the 45-mile Marquette Vision Plan after the delegation views the
shoreline from the water; Lorelei Weimer, executive director of the Porter
County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission, will discuss the
impact of tourism and recreation; and Susan Mihalo of Save the Dunes, will
provide an historical perspective of work conserving and protecting the
The afternoon concludes with a visit to the Indiana Dunes National
Lakeshore, with stops at the Douglas Center, West Beach, and Portage
Lakefront, and conversations with National Park Service personnel including
Superintendent, Costa Dillon.