IDEM, local residents analyze Lake Michigan aboard research vessel

Over 150 eager Hoosiers witnessed water quality testing in action during six full-capacity Lake Michigan boat tours sponsored by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Aboard the water quality assessment and research vessel W.C. Jackson, area adults and youth were involved in practicing different examination methods, such as testing the lake water for dissolved oxygen levels, clarity, and other criteria that help monitor the water quality...

MICHIGAN CITY, IN, July 28, 2008 -- Over 150 eager Hoosiers witnessed water quality testing in action during six full-capacity Lake Michigan boat tours sponsored by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

Aboard the water quality assessment and research vessel W.C. Jackson, area adults and youth were involved in practicing different examination methods, such as testing the lake water for dissolved oxygen levels, clarity, and other criteria that help monitor the water quality. They also collected organisms living in the water and lake bed, which is used to determine the health of the aquatic community.

The specially designed outreach and research vessel W.G. Jackson is maintained and run by the Annis Water Resources Institute. With the help of funding from the Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes National Program Office, the organization makes excursions available to educate the public about the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP). The LaMP program is a joint effort between state and federal government agencies to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.

"I was extremely impressed with how many people got involved and wanted to learn about Lake Michigan's water quality," said Danielle Barnett, an environmental manager at IDEM's northern office. "This is a great event, and I'm pleased we were able to offer this experience to so many people."

"This was a wonderful way for Hoosiers, and especially children, to learn about an important environmental issue," said Bruno Pigott, IDEM assistant commissioner of the Office of Water Quality. "The opportunity to see a research vessel at work and to understand the many different processes that go into monitoring one of our most valuable resources is extraordinary."

IDEM implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment.

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