The National Park Service (NPS) has released its draft Environmental
Assessment for “Wabash Ave./Porter Access Site” at Porter Beach and is
seeking public comment.
Each unit of the national park system is driven by federal enabling
legislation and this assessment is needed to ensure the Wabash Ave. project
is in harmony with the legislative intent of Indiana Dunes National
The Environmental Assessment evaluates five possible alternatives in depth.
The alternatives addressed include pedestrian circulation, vehicle
circulation, visitor facilities, and parking options. “The alternatives meet
park purposes and objectives while protecting park resources and minimizing
impacts,” NPS said in a statement released this week. “All alternatives are
consistent with applicable NPS laws, policies, and regulations.”
A copy of the Environmental Assessment for the Wabash Avenue/Porter Access
Site is now available in two different formats:
* On line at
* Hard copies of the document at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center
off Ind. 49 and at the National Lakeshore headquarters at 1100 N. Mineral
Springs Road in Porter.
The best way to comment on the Environmental Assessment is to use the
electronic form at
The comment period closes on August 9 and comments may be postmarked no
later than August 9.
If you cannot use the electronic form you may mail or drop off a hard copy
comment form and/or letter to: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Attention:
Eric Ehn, Management Assistant, 1100 N. Mineral Springs Road, Porter,
The Environmental Assessment has five alternatives under consideration. The
alternatives include a No Action and four levels of modifications for
visitor use and development.
Each alternative addresses the potential environmental impacts to the parks:
historic structures; cultural landscapes; archeological resources; soils,
air, and water quality; vegetation; wildlife and wildlife habitat; sensitive
and rare species; recreation resources; visitor use and experience; park
operations; and socioeconomic conditions.
The preferred alternative, Alternative 5, would enlarge the south parking
lot while restricting the north lot to accessible parking only in the
summer. In the off-season the south lot would be closed and all visitors
would use the north lot. Individual picnic platforms would be built adjacent
to parking areas. Alternative 5 is the preferred because it would be
consistent with the project goals.