2016 Annual Conference and Meeting Porter, Indiana
The 2016 annual meeting and conference was held October 15 & 16 at the Spa in Porter, Indiana. The Annual Conference occurs every fall and rotates between the four states that surround Lake Michigan. Over fifty League representatives attended this year's meeting.
Keynote speaker Natalie Johnson, of the Northwest Indiana Urban Waters Federal Partnership, provided an update on threats to Lake Michigan. She discussed the potential of harmful algal blooms, impacts from failing septic systems, combined sewer overflows, climate change, and human impacts. Then Natalie described the great things happening to meet these challenges.
Amy Lucas and Mary Catterlin shared their documentary, "Lake Michigan in a Dug Out," about their experience paddling the perimeter of the Lake. This inspiring adventure took them over 1200 miles in 93 days.
At the business meeting on Saturday morning, the program, bylaws changes and budget were adopted and officers were elected. Outgoing President Henrietta Saunders assumed the newly-created board position of Past President.
Noel Pavlovic, Research Ecologist at the Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station in the National Lakeshore, discussed the history and significance of the plant diversity of the southern tip of Lake Michigan. He also addressed the threat of invasive plants and the need to plant native plants in the dunes area.
During lunch, Cathy Martin, Parks Program Manager for Save the Dunes, and Gia Wagner, Natural Resources Branch Chief at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, talked about how partnerships have been instrumental in making progress in local restoration projects.
And of course, there were field trips! On Friday afternoon, members took a field trip with leaders of the Trail Creek Watershed Partnership. The LWV of LaPorte County is a member of the partnership. On Saturday, the Superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore led a tour of the Miller Woods Restoration project.
Conference summary excerpted from a report by Jeanette Neagu. Thanks to Jeanette and to Cheryl Chapman and Jim Blauw for sharing their photos.