About Lake Michigan Forum
The Lake Michigan Forum provides input to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) from representative stakeholders of the Lake Michigan Basin. The Forum seeks opportunities to foster ecosystem stewardship through multi-organizational initiatives and partnerships, to engage the public in discussion of critical Lake Michigan issues, and to implement the goals and objectives of the Lake Michigan LaMP, beyond what is achieved through governmental efforts. As the non-governmental, public input component of the Lake Michigan LaMP, the Forum has a number of responsibilities, including:
- Representing diverse interests and geography of the Lake Michigan basin and creating a communication link between the members’ constituents and the LaMP process;
- Providing input to and review of LaMP updates and assisting in their completion and implementation;
- Promoting the LaMP to the public and building constituency for its implementation;
- Facilitating communication between regional planning organizations, ensuring a ‘peer-to-peer’ exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices;
- Serving as a forum for identifying, discussing, and conveying critical/priority issues;
- Serving as a conduit for public concerns and input to the LaMP process.
- Identifying opportunities for implementation of demonstration projects relating to LaMP goals and objectives; and
- Providing a platform for regional and watershed approaches to accomplishing LaMP goals.
Over the last 10 years, the Forum has built name recognition throughout the Lake Michigan basin by implementing innovative projects, encouraging community involvement in environmental stewardship, and developing a vast network of contacts, institutional knowledge and experience. But the Forum’s biggest accomplishment was its role in developing an adaptive management strategy for the LaMP. The Lake Michigan Forum helped the U.S. EPA transform the Lake Michigan LaMP from a document focused on toxics to a document focused on dynamic ecosystem management. The Forum’s work is also seen in the LaMP through the creation of ‘tool boxes,’ which provide project implementation guidance for LaMP users. In all, the Lake Michigan Forum has embraced its goal to foster ecosystem stewardship through multi-organizational initiatives and partnerships, to engage the public in discussion of critical Lake Michigan issues, and to implement the goals and objectives of the Lake Michigan LaMP.
Tremendous challenges lay ahead, from invasive species and climate change to continued toxics deposition and emerging chemicals of concern. The Lake Michigan Forum is well-positioned to facilitate a constructive dialogue amongst a variety of stakeholders and create a more informed and active constituency, while providing important feedback to the development of the LaMP.
For more information, please contact the Lake Michigan Forum Facilitator, the Delta Institute, at 312-554-0900.