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Great Lakes Article:

House OKs $3.3 million for Dunes

Money will go toward land acquisition, tearing down abandoned structures.

Times staff report
Posted on Friday, July 19, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The House on Wednesday approved more than $3.3 million for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, to be used to acquire and restore park land and remove unsafe structures.

The Interior Appropriations bill, which includes the funding, will go to the Senate. The money would be used to acquire additional land within the park's boundaries, restore approximately 500 acres of wetlands and natural dunes, and remove unsafe, abandoned structures.

"The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is the crown jewel of Northwest Indiana and a recreational haven to its residents," said U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, who included the money in the bill. "This funding will give local residents greater opportunities to enjoy the Dunes and the improvements being funded will help improve the quality of life throughout the region."

The bill would provide $1 million for land acquisition within the 1,100 acres added to the lakeshore by Congress in 1992. The remaining $2.389 million will be used to remove 210 of the 350 structures acquired through the 1992 boundary expansion legislation.

In addition to the abandoned structures to be taken down, associated walkways, driveways, utilities and outbuildings also will be eliminated, with the landscape to be restored to its natural condition.

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