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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

ILMCP > Program Reports > Northwest Indiana Public Works Group > Marinas, Public Access, and Recreational Uses Marinas, Public Access, and Recreational Uses

Introduction

As mentioned in the mission statement of the work groups, the function of the groups was twofold: to identify the issues facing the shoreline of Lake Michigan and those who use this valuable resource and to recommend courses of action to address the issues identified. The Marinas, Public Access, and Recreational Uses work group achieved these results through two phases. The first phase involved the identification of all issues related to marinas, public access, and recreational uses. A combination of brainstorming and the nominal group technique (NGT) was employed during this phase. The second phase involved the recommendation of courses of action to address these issues. Again, brainstorming and the NGT were used. The meeting results were recorded on flipcharts and summarized by the recorder for distribution prior to the following meeting. The issues identified during the meetings were not necessarily recorded upon actual consensus but recorded due to the importance of the issue from the perspective of the author of the issue.

The Marinas, Public Access, and Recreational Uses work group met eight times to accomplish their mission. During the first phase, seventy-seven issues were identified that related to the work group topic. The group consolidated these issues into thirteen major issues. Issues could only be consolidated if the author of the individual issue permitted the use of his or her issue. Next the group ranked the thirteen issues in order to identify those issues which the group wanted to discuss first. The ranking was accomplished by members placing post-it notes on issues they felt were the highest priority. Each member had five post-it notes numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 representing their lowest priority to highest priority issue. The total points placed on an issue were multiplied by the number of people placing a number on it, to determine the ultimate rank.

During the second phase, the group was encouraged to be creative in their recommendation of resolutions to the issues. The following suggestion was made to the group to further manifest this encouragement.

"The solutions you suggest should reflect your vision of what you want your community and the Lake Michigan shoreline to be. Since we will not have the time to analyze the solutions put forth, make them on the premise that "anything is possible." They should be framed in the context of satisfying the issue (need) regardless of the existence of, or lack of, programs and/or authorities to carry out any particular solution at the present time. In other words, bring your ideas (no matter how "far out") on what needs to be done to satisfy or correct the problem (issue)."

The group addressed eight of the thirteen issues before the meeting process concluded. A total of 216 resolutions were recorded. Again, the resolutions were achieved through the nominal group process which does not necessarily reflect a consensus by the work group. The resolutions were recorded due to the importance of the resolution from the perspective of the author of the resolution. It was agreed by the group that members who had recommendations regarding remaining issues that had not been discussed due to lack of time could submit these items to the recorder to be included in the report if done in a timely manner.

A brief description of each meeting is included below. Copies of each of the meeting summaries can be obtained from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water, Room W264, 402 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

February 13, 1995 - The group gathered after a brief orientation meeting and introduced themselves. Each member of the work group present recorded their individual expectations of the potential results of the meetings. Future meeting dates and times were scheduled.

February 27, 1995 - The group established ground rules under which to operate the meetings and discussed goals for the group to achieve.

March 13, 1995 - Instead of setting goals, the group set a preliminary schedule to be followed regarding the number of meetings designated to talk about issues. The group identified seventy-seven issues.

March 27, 1995 - The group began the consolidation process of the identified issues. Ten major issues were formed by combining individual issues. Individual issues were combined only with permission from the author of the issues.

April 10, 1995 - The consolidation process was completed and the thirteen major issues were ranked.

April 24, 1995 - Through use of the NGT, the group recommended sixty-six resolutions for the first issue.

May 8, 1995 - By consensus the group decided to move forward with identifying the resolutions to the remaining issues using the NGT even though there was a possibility all issues would not be discussed before the work group meetings came to a conclusion. The group recommended resolutions to three more issues.

May 22, 1995 - The group concluded the work group process by recommending resolutions to four more issues. It was agreed that the recorder would prepare the draft report of the work group results and that the group would meet one last time to review the report and discuss the future use of the report. Written recommended resolutions for issues the group did not have time to discuss were to be accepted by the recorder for inclusion in the report if submitted in a timely manner.
June 6, 1995 - At the final work group meeting, the group made corrections to the draft report and recommendations for the future use of the report.

Conclusion

Through a series of eight meetings, the Marinas, Public Access and Recreational Uses work group identified several issues facing the shoreline and its users and have generated recommended courses of action to address some of the identified issues. The results of the meeting have been achieved through an open and organized manner using a facilitated process. Although the issues recorded in the report do not necessarily reflect a consensus by the group, each issue and resolution has been recorded here due to the importance of the issue to its author.

Recommended Action for Future Use of Report