Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes National Park Debuts Coronavirus Campaign

Jul 19, 2020
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Tyler Lake/WTIU

A parks advocacy group says U.S. Steel’s revised consent decree doesn’t ensure protections for Indiana Dunes National Park. The agreement outlines how the company will make up for spilling 300 pounds of the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium into a Lake Michigan waterway two years ago.

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BEVERLY SHORES, Ind. (AP) — The National Park Service and a northwestern Indiana town will install sand traps along the Lake Michigan shoreline to combat beach erosion at the Indiana Dunes National Park.

The federal agency was scheduled to begin working Friday with the town of Beverly Shores to fill 300 linear feet of sand traps at the national park.

Tyler Lake/WTIU

The country’s newest national park isn’t like many of the others — it’s surrounded by some of the largest industrial companies in the U.S. While Indiana Dunes’ new designation has drawn national attention, so have recent industrial spills in nearby Lake Michigan waterways.

But will the park’s designation pressure industrial companies to clean up their act? 

FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/WVPE

Since it became a national park, the number of visitors at Indiana Dunes has gone up dramatically. 

Lorelei Weimer is the executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism. She says she wasn’t sure if the name change would have any effect on visitorship, since the National Park Service doesn’t do much of any marketing. Weimer says the media attention to the change played a major role.

So far this year, the park’s visitor center saw more people than it has in any of the past eight years – and the year isn’t over. June and July visitor numbers alone have doubled since last year.

UPDATE: Park Service Reopens Indiana Beaches After Cyanide Spill

Aug 17, 2019
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

UPDATE: 

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — The National Park Service has reopened beaches in northwestern Indiana, more than a week after a spill of cyanide and ammonia from a steel factory along Lake Michigan.

The agency says three consecutive days of tests have been positive, including two days with no detection of cyanide. The government says samples were taken by Indiana environmental regulators and ArcelorMittal and reviewed by independent labs.

Indiana Dunes Campground To Accept Reservations

May 12, 2019
Lauren Chapman

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Indiana Dunes National Park says visitors can reserve campsites, beginning Wednesday.

Lauren Chapman

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Northwestern Indiana tourism officials are hoping the recent elevation of the Indiana Dunes to national park status will lure more visitors to the scenic stretch of dunes, woods and beaches.

National Park Service

(INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL PARK) - The National Park Service is planning eight prescribed fires this spring at Indiana Dunes National Park. Approximately 1,800 acres are expected to be burned. Fire is used as a tool in the park's long-term restoration of natural habitats and hazard fuel reduction efforts.

Resource Management Chief Dan Plath says, "Fire plays an important role in the overall restoration and management plans for the Park.  Protecting our neighbors from the possibility of wildfire,"