Natural Resources, Water Quality, and Shorelines
As mentioned in the mission statement of the work groups, the function of the groups was twofold: to identify the issues facing the shoreline of Lake Michigan and those who use this valuable resource and to recommend courses of action to address the issues identified.
The Natural Resources, Water Quality and Shorelines work group achieved these results through two phases. The first phase involved the identification of issues related to natural resources, water quality and shorelines. A combination of brainstorming and the nominal group technique (NGT) was employed during this phase. The second phase involved the recommendation of courses of action to address these issues. Again, brainstorming and the NGT were used. The meeting results were recorded on flip charts and summarized by the recorder for distribution prior to the following meeting. The issues identified during the meetings were not recorded because they represented a consensus by the group, but they were recorded because of the importance of the issue from the perspective of the author.
The Natural Resources, Water Quality and Shorelines work group met nine times to accomplish their mission. During the first phase, sixty-five issues were identified that related to the work group and these were placed under one or more of the three categories (natural resources, water quality and shorelines). Similar issues under each category were grouped together under a common issue heading. Issues could only be consolidated if the author of the individual issue permitted the use of his or her issue. Anyone who did not originally suggest the issue could not object to its consolidation. Next the group ranked the grouped issues in order to identify which issues the group wanted to discuss first. The ranking was accomplished by members placing post-it notes on issues they felt were the highest priority. Each member had five post-it notes numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 representing their lowest priority to highest priority issue. The total points placed on an issue were multiplied by the number of people placing a number on it, to determine the ultimate rank.
During the second phase, the group was encouraged to be creative in their recommendation of resolutions to the issues. The group addressed the top five ranked issues under each of the three categories before the meeting process concluded. A total of 389 recommended solutions were recorded. Again, the resolutions were achieved through the nominal group process which does not necessarily reflect a consensus by the work group. Each suggested solution was recorded because it was important from the perspective of its author.
A brief description of each meeting is included below. Copies of each of the meeting summaries can be obtained from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water, Room W264, 402 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
February 13, 1995 - After a brief orientation meeting , the work group gathered together and everyone introduced themselves. The work group members then suggested topics for the agenda of the next meeting. Two future meeting dates and times were scheduled.
March 13, 1995 - The group established 'ground rules' (see page 42), defining how each meeting would be run, and to guide the group's discussions. Three lists of 'characteristics' were created to define what the 'natural resources', 'water quality', and 'shorelines' categories encompassed (see page 43). 'Goals' to achieve for each of these categories were listed (see page 44). The group then identified 'sixty-five key issues' and placed each of them into one or more of the three categories for future discussion. (see page 45)
March 28, 1995 - Some of the 24 issues in the 'natural resources' category were related, and were combined under 14 'broad issue' headings. These 'broad issues' were then ranked to provide an order in which to discuss them. 27 issues in the 'shorelines' category were combined under 15 'broad issue' headings, and were ranked in the same manner.
April 6, 1995 - The 28 issues in the 'water quality' category, plus one added issue concerning exotic species, were grouped into 19 'broad issue' headings. The issues were ranked to provide an order for discussion. This concluded the initial phase of issue identification, grouping and ranking.
April 19, 1995 - The top six ranked 'broad issues' for the 'water quality' category were presented in statement form, with the individual issues provided as 'special points of concern'. The group provided 114 suggested solutions for the first four of the six 'broad issues'.? May 2, 1995 - The last two 'broad issues' for the 'water quality' category were completed, adding 41 more suggested solutions. The top five 'broad issues' for 'shorelines' were presented in statement form with the individual issues provided as 'special points of concern'. The group provided 47 suggested solutions for the first three 'shorelines' 'broad issues'. A letter from Jim Hebenstreit (DNR Assistant Director of the Division of Water) was presented, asking the group for input on how their work group report should be structured, and presented in the future.
May 17, 1995 - The last two 'broad issues' for the 'shorelines' category were completed, adding 41 more suggested solutions. The group then provided 75 suggested solutions for the first three 'broad issues' of the 'natural resources' category.
May 24, 1995 - The last two 'broad issues' for the 'natural resources' category were completed, adding 67 more suggested solutions. The group asked the DNR liaison to prepare a 'draft report' for the Natural Resources, Water Quality and Shorelines Work Group, for review at the next meeting.
June 21, 1995 - After clarifications and corrections were made, the group accepted the 'draft report' and requested a final report be prepared and mailed out for final approval by the group. Written corrections and clarifications to the existing issues and recommended solutions would be accepted for inclusion in the report if submitted in a timely manner. No new issues or solutions will be accepted
Through a series of nine meetings, the Natural Resources, Water Quality and Shorelines work group identified numerous issues facing the shoreline and its users, and have generated recommended courses of action to address some of the identified issues. The results of the meeting have been achieved through an open and organized manner using a facilitated process. Each issue and suggested solution has been recorded here due to its importance to the author. The report does not reflect a consensus of the group.