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Lake Michigan Coastal Program Advisory Board

Advisory Board

The Coastal Advisory Board provides a public forum for diverse stakeholders to assist with the implementation of the Lake Michigan Coastal Program.

General Membership

Voting members of the Coastal Advisory Board are selected by the director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Nominations will be solicited every two years for board positions, and every year for “rotating” positions – Local Economic Development, and Citizen at Large. Non-voting members will be selected by the designated agency.

  • Membership Responsibilities

    Members of the Coastal Advisory Board shall:

    • Consider regional issues affecting Lake Michigan coastal resources and reflect a balance between preservation, protection, restoration, and when possible, development for this and succeeding generations;
    • Make recommendations to the DNR director on priorities and guidance for the Coastal Grants Program with the assistance of the Lake Michigan Coastal Program and the general public; and
    • Make recommendations to the DNR director on nominations for Coastal Areas of Significance.

    Members serve two-year appointments. Vacancies in the membership are filled by the DNR director or the designated agency.


    The Coastal Advisory Board elects a chairperson and Vice Chair from among its membership by a simple majority vote every year at the April meeting.

  • Current Board Members

    Terms for the Chair and Vice Chair are one (1) year in duration. Members may serve in the position for a maximum of two (2) terms.

    2023 – 2025 Board Members

    Voting Members:

    Citizen - Samantha Fazekas, Porter County Resident

    Youth Leadership - Jillian Burton

    Lake County – Chuck Gardiner, Town of Munster

    Porter County – John Blackburn, Town of Beverly Shores (Co-Chair)

    LaPorte County – Larry Wall, Town of Long Beach

    Economic Development – Andy Maletta, Portage Economic Development Corp.

    Tourism – Barb Lusco, Indiana Dunes Tourism

    Environmental Advocacy – Katie Hobgood, Save the Dunes

    Local Parks and Rec – Craig Zandstra, Lake County Parks

    Land Trust Organization – Christine Livingston, Shirley Heinze Land Trust Board

    Watershed Management – Reggie Korthals, BFS Eng. (Chair)

    Indiana Landmarks/Museum/Society –  Blake Swinhart, Indiana Landmarks

    Education – Vacant

    EJ/Diversity Commissions – Vacant

    Cultural Heritage – Gary Johnson, Calumet Heritage Partnership

    Non-Voting Members:

    IN Dept. of Environmental Management – Michael Spinar (NWRO-AOC/LAMP) and Lindsey Hylton Adams (OWQ-Watersheds)

    NIRPC – Eman Ibrahim (Planning Manager) and Kathy Luther (Director)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service – Elizabeth McCloskey (Biologist)

    Department of Natural Resources Nature Preserves – Emily Stork and Derek Nimetz

    Department of Natural Resources Fish & Wildlife – Ben Dickinson and Jeremy Price

    Department of Natural Resources Water – Steve Davis

    Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement – S. Brown and G. Wendorf

    Department of Natural Resources State Parks – David Snodgrass

    Indiana Dunes National Park – Dan Plath (Resource Management)

    IL IN Sea Grant – Thomas Hook (Purdue University Lafayette) and Pat Charlesbois (University of Illinois)

  • Officer Responsibilities
    • Ensures the effective action of the Coastal Advisory Board;
    • Develops agendas for meetings in concert with the DNR LMCP;
    • Presides at board meetings;
    • Recommends to the Board which, if any, committees are to be established. Seeks volunteers for committees and coordinates individual board member assignments. Makes sure each committee has a chairperson, and stays in touch with chairpersons to be sure that their work is carried out; identifies committee recommendations that should be presented to the full board;
    • Determines whether special Board meetings are necessary and convenes the Board accordingly; and
    • Ensures that board matters are handled properly, including preparation of pre-meeting materials, committee functioning, and coordination with DNR LMCP.
    Vice Chair:
    • Serves as the Chair, in the Chair’s absence;
    • Assists the Chair in Board operation

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