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How IDEM Protects and Restores Lake Michigan

IDEM implements a number of programs that support the protection and restoration of Lake Michigan and its ecosystem. Chief among these is the Lake Michigan Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) Program. The goal of this program is to work with federal, state, and local partners to restore and protect the integrity of the entire Lake Michigan ecosystem. The LAMP tracks the status of the Lake Michigan ecosystem by answering 12 subgoal questions, such as:

  • Can we swim in the water?
  • Can we drink the water?
  • Are habitats healthy, naturally diverse, and sufficient to sustain viable biological communities?

Best management practices and programs are developed through the LAMP framework to prevent and address ecosystem concerns. Because of its comprehensive nature, many IDEM programs fall under the LAMP framework and advance its goals and objectives:

  • Lake Michigan Beach Monitoring and Notification Program:
  • Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Ship Canal Area of Concern Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Program:
    • This program focuses on restoring the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Ship Harbor Canal and surrounding areas. IDEM and its partners address the environmental problems in the Area of Concern (AOC) by:
      • Removing, treating, or sealing contaminated river sediment
      • Removing or thinning invasive or nuisance plants and planting native species within state and locally-managed lands
      • Reducing the amount of problem nutrients and bacteria released into the river, canal, and Lake Michigan.
    • Restoration progress is measured by the removal of 14 beneficial use impairments (severe environmental problems) to the area. IDEM is responsible for formulating all the actions needed to do so by the end of 2020.
  • Indiana Clean Marina Program:
    • This voluntary pollution prevention program guides marinas and recreational boaters on how to maintain a healthy Lake Michigan through best management practices.
    • IDEM certifies Clean Marinas and recognizes them for their environmental stewardship efforts.

Each of these programs addresses one or more of the challenges facing Lake Michigan, but more can be done. Learn how you can take steps to help protect Lake Michigan's ecosystem.

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