Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

NWI Forum and NIRPC hosting tour of lakefront for Chinese environmentalists

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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 region.

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 environmental problems.”

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 Indiana Dunes.

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.


Posted 8/17/2010




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