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GLIN==> Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant News: Coast Week Offers Something for Everyone

Source: Leslie Dorworth (219)989-2726; dorworth@calumet.purdue.edu

Coast Week Offers Something for Everyone

URBANA--Indiana’s Lake Michigan Coast Week, which runs September 11-18, offers one last chance to hit the beach. This time, visitors can do more than soak up the sun and surf. “It’s a chance to celebrate the diversity and beauty of the Lake Michigan coastal region through a variety of events for all ages and interests,” said Leslie Dorworth, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant aquatic ecology specialist.

Coast Week is sponsored by the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program and other regional organizations, including Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Over the course of the week, participants can take part in nature hikes, festivals, music and educational opportunities. “These events will highlight the cultural, historical and natural resources of northwest Indiana along Lake Michigan,” said Dorworth.

The celebration kicks off on the Michigan City lakefront on September 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with activities and displays from many organizations and associations, including a number of local artists. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant will display its Water Wheel to Reel in Information, a game in which players can test their knowledge about Lake Michigan and other water topics.

On September 16, Sea Grant will present a workshop titled “Can we Keep Our Beaches Healthy?” The discussion will focus on issues such as E. coli contamination in the water, and the health of the dunes. Participants will learn how beach goers can do their part to keep beaches healthy and enjoyable. This event will take place at West Beach in Miller, Indiana from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The week culminates on Saturday, September 18 with a number of events, including a Wizard of Oz festival in Chesterton, an art fair, a South Shore tour and a beach cleanup. “The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s oldest and largest volunteer effort to clean up our marine and Great Lakes environments,” said Dorworth. Every year, nearly a million volunteers around the world spend three hours combing the beaches for shiny wrappers, discarded cigarettes, deflated balloons and other litter. “This trash pollutes our waters, harms aquatic life, hampers tourism and poses health risks for beach-goers,” added Dorworth.

The cleanup starts out at Washington Park Jaycee Stage at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 12:00 p.m. For more information, contact Dorworth at (219) 989-2726 or dorworth@calumet.purdue.edu.  If you are interested in information about other cleanup sites along southern Lake Michigan, contact the Grand Calumet Task Force at (219) 938-1400.

To learn more about the Coast Week schedule of events, you can go online to www.in.gov/dnr/lakemich/news/coastweek.html.

The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of 30 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs.  Funding is provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Department of Commerce, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana.

Irene Miles
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
376 NSRC
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, Il 61801
(217) 333-8055
FAX (217) 333-8046