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Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Lake Michigan

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.

    2019 – 2021 Board Members

    Voting Members:

    Local Government and Citizens:

    Lake County City or Town – Ross Pietrak, City of Hobart, Zoning Administrator
    Porter County City or Town – Donna Norkus, Beverly Shores, Town Council President 
    LaPorte County City or Town – Bob Lemay, Long Beach Town Council President
    Citizen (LaPorte County) – Brian Breidert, (Retired) Former DNR Divison of Fish and Wildlife employee

    Coastal Land Use:

    Local Economic Development Porter County) – Vacant
    Industry and Business – James Alexander, Nisource Corporate Services
    Tourism - Vacant
    Local Planner (At Large) – Skyler York, Michigan City, Assistant Planner

    Environmental Resources:

    Environmental Advocacy – Natalie Johnson, Save the Dunes (Chair)
    Local Parks and Recreation – Jeremy Sobecki, LaPorte County Parks and Recreation, Superintendent
    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore – Lynda Lancaster, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Vice-Chair)
    Local Natural Resource Management – Eric Bird, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Stewardship Director


    Historical/Cultural Resources - Brad Miller, Calumet Region – Historical Landmarks Foundation of Indiana

    Non-Voting Members:

    IN Dept of Environmental Management – Michael Spinar
    NIRPC - Kathy Luther, Environmental Director
    US Fish and Wildlife Service - Elizabeth McCloskey
    US EPA -  Elizabeth Hinchey Malloy
    Universities - Young Choi
    Agriculture - Keith Gustafson, Gustafson Family Farm, Porter County SWCD
    IL IN Sea Grant - Leslie Dorworth
    US Army Corps - Vacant
    Regional Development Authority – Jill Huber

  • 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