States and Provinces

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For More Information

Matt Doss
Policy Director
Great Lakes Commission
734‐396‐6064
[email protected]

What the Great Lakes mean to Indiana

Indiana is located on Lake Michigan’s south shore, and is home to a diverse mix of environmental treasures and economic engines that are dependent on the Great Lakes.

Indiana’s 43 miles of shoreline includes the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park, featuring 15 miles of sandy beaches, dunes, and marshes frequented by millions of visitors, as well as the country’s largest steel-producing region and some of the biggest Great Lakes shipping facilities in the U.S.

Recreation and Tourism

The Indiana Dunes parks and beaches attract roughly 1.8 million visitors each year and Lake Michigan drives a recreational boating industry that contributes $2 billion to Indiana’s economy each year. A vibrant sport fishing industry accounts for an annual value of over $1 billion.

Commercial Shipping

Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline is small but powerful, as the state has one of the most robust maritime economies in the country. The state’s 43 miles of shoreline are responsible for producing 43 percent of U.S. business revenues generated by Great Lakes shipping and over 25 percent of the country’s steel. As the largest steel-producing state, Indiana relies on Great Lakes shipping for delivery of vital raw materials that fuel steel mills at East Chicago, Gary and Burns Harbor. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is a state-run deepwater port that is a leader in handling ocean carriers, 1,000-foot lake vessels and inland river barges. The Great Lakes maritime shipping industry sustains over 48,000 jobs for Indiana residents and the state’s Great Lakes shipping terminals handle roughly 30 million tons of cargo each year.

Economic activity generated through Indiana ports sustains the state’s role in road construction, automobile production, and appliance manufacturing, among other industries, contributing $7.9 billion in revenue and $1.04 billion in taxes. 

Solving Problems Facing Lake Michigan

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) builds on state and local efforts to solve problems facing Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline. State, federal and local agencies and industry partners are cleaning up the Grand Calumet River, with $288 million from the GLRI and an additional $65 million from natural resources damage settlements used as matching funds, resulting in nearly $350 million being invested to remediate two million cubic yards of contaminated sediments and restore natural habitat in and adjacent to the river. Some of this habitat restoration is taking place at several nature preserves in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, where globally rare dune and swale habitats have been preserved and are being restored.

Indiana’s Lake Michigan Coastal Program works with local and county governments in the Lake Michigan watershed, providing funding and technical support for efforts to protect and restore significant natural and cultural resources, prevent the loss of life and property in hazardous coastal areas, improve public access for recreational purposes, and strengthen coordination among government agencies in policy and decision-making processes.

Click the filter icon on the left side of the map to view projects by state or use the search bar to enter zip codes or addresses to narrow your search.

Click on the dots to learn more about specific projects, funding sources, restoration partners, and project outcomes.

Click the filter icon on the left side of the map to view projects by state or use the search bar to enter zip codes or addresses to narrow your search.

Click on the dots to learn more about specific projects, funding sources, restoration partners, and project outcomes.

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To see an expanded map of GLRI projects in Indiana and across the region visit click here. 

For More Information

Matt Doss
Policy Director
Great Lakes Commission
734‐396‐6064
[email protected]

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