PORTER — U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., wants to change the name of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, making it the first to be called a national park in Indiana and providing it with full tourism benefits and added recognition.
Visclosky introduced legislation changing the name of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to Indiana Dunes National Park.
If approved, it would be the 60th national park in the United States.
The measure has been introduced with the support of the entire Indiana House delegation as original co-sponsors, and it is pending consideration in the House Committee on Natural Resources.
“The recognition of being a national park is the final step of an effort that began a century ago. It is past time that the rest of the nation recognizes the environmental wonder and significance of the lakeshore dunes in Northwest Indiana. I thank my Indiana House colleagues and all the Northwest Indiana community leaders and officials for supporting this initiative that will ultimately attract more visitors and further stimulate our regional economy,” said Visclosky.
The southern tip of Lake Michigan was proposed as the Sand Dunes National Park in 1916 by the first director of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather. The proposal was abandoned at the onset of World War I.
The effort is supported by Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, R-South Bend, Save the Dunes president Tom Conway, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority Speros Batistatos, executive director of the LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau Jack Arnette and executive director for Indiana Dunes Tourism Lorelei Weimer.