The Lake Michigan ILO held its Annual Meeting in Portage, Indiana, at the Spring House Inn. The keynote speaker, Natalie Johnson, talked about her job as coordinator for the Northwest Indiana Urban Water Partnership, a program sponsored by US EPA . The purpose of this job is to be an ambassador for water, encouraging people to value and enjoy the troubled water resources of northwestern Indiana. These waters have been subject to pollution and degradation for decades, but now are being used again for recreation. Ms. Johnson’s message was that the best way to reach people is to stress positive values of water. She urged us not to lecture on what must be done but teach appreciation of nature and resources. All ages should be invited to participate in events that build the love of nature and the water resources of an area.
The meeting location, on Mineral Springs Road in Portage, was a great place to showcase the considerable water resources in this area. The conference facility was on the water of the springs and numerous tributaries of the Little Calumet River flow through the area. This report from the US Geological Survey describes the ground water resources of the area and includes a look at land uses in this very industrial region.