The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) was required to investigate recreational issues in the Lake Michigan watershed. IDNR turned to the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands to identify plans, trends, knowledge gaps, and issues related to lakeshore and coastal recreation in Indiana territorial waters and the Indiana watershed of Lake Michigan.
The study was conducted between March and October 2000 by utilizing faculty and staff in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University, which includes the Office of Underwater Archaeology.
An extensive review of existing plans, documents, and publications was undertaken, including official park and recreation plans for 31 local government units in the Lake Michigan watershed and the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Extensive interviews with approximately 50 individuals who represented over 25 different agencies, organizations, and private firms were conducted as part of the study.
The results of the study identified knowledge gaps, trends, plans, and management issues related to lakeshore and coastal recreation in the Indiana Lake Michigan watershed. These issues were reviewed, and forecasts were made regarding anticipated tensions and conflicts for each issue. The study has proven valuable to local agencies as they plan and implement recreation facilities along the lakeshore.