Coastal priorities on table
By Charles M. Bartholomew
The Indiana Post-Tribune
PORTAGE - The new 30-member Coastal Advisory Board, representing
interests from the environment and agriculture to tourism
and industry, aired a broad spectrum of views from its
members at its second meeting Wednesday at the Northwest
Indiana Regional Planning Commission headquarters.
Under Indianaís agreement with National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Association, grants will be awarded on a fair and equitable
basisíí among three areas: coastal resources protection
and restoration, coastal community enhancement and sustainability,
and a list of emerging issues that do not fit easily into
the first two.
Board secretary J. Allen Johnson, Lake County citizen
representative and issues chairman of the Northwest Indiana
Race Relations Council, wanted to be sure that coastal
community projects will get their share of attention.
"If all the resources are channeled into the first
category, then I find an inequity there that Iím uncomfortable
with," he said.
"My concern is about access to the shoreline. We
have a changing coastline, and the rate of change is accelerating,"
said said chairman Mark Reshkin of Indiana University
Newly hired coastal program manager Mike Molnar said
the program is administered by the Department of Natural
Resources, which appointed the board from nominations.
The board has oversight of $1.17 million this year from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with
$975,000 to be given out in grants later this year.
"This is an advisory board, not a ranking board,"
said Reshkin of the groupís charge to establish priorities
for the DNR to review grant proposals beginning in October.
Port of Indiana Director Stephen Mosher noted the differences
in priorities among the various interests and suggested
that the staff examine coastal programs in other states
To learn more
Information on the Lake Michigan Coast Program can be
found at www.in.gov/dnr/lakemich.