Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands

The Restoration of the Calumet Area
Kenneth J. Schoon
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/10/2016
Format: Hardback 118 color illus., 55 b&w illus., 16 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-02295-0
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Officially Endorsed Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project 2016

The location of one of the most diverse national parks in the United States, Northwest Indiana’s Calumet area is home to what was at one time widely known as the most polluted river in the entire country. Calumet's advantageous location at the southern tip of Lake Michigan encouraged broadscale conversion of Indiana wilderness into an industrial base that once included the world’s largest steel mill, largest cement works, and largest oil refinery. Thousands of tons of hazardous waste were dumped in and around the rivers with no thought for how it would affect the region’s water, land, and air. However, a remarkable change of attitude has resulted in the rejuvenation of an area once rich in natural diversity and the creation of a National Park that brings in more than two million visitors a year, contains beautiful greenways and blueways, and provides safe recreation for nearby residents. A community-wide effort, the cleanup of this area is nothing short of remarkable. In this Indiana bicentennial book, Ken Schoon introduces the reader to the Calumet area’s unique history and the residents who banded together to save it.

Author Bio

Kenneth J. Schoon is Professor Emeritus of Science Education at Indiana University Northwest and a Northwest Indiana native. He is author of Dreams of Duneland: A Pictorial History of the Indiana Dunes Region (IUP, 2013), Calumet Beginnings: Ancient Shorelines and Settlements at the South End of Lake Michigan (IUP, 2003) and City Trees.


“In this Indiana bicentennial book, Schoon introduces readers to the Calumet area’s unique history and the residents who banded together to save it.”

“There are few people as qualified as Dr. Schoon, to tell the story of the natural and cultural history of the constantly evolving and incredibly diverse Calumet Area. His background as an educator and story teller pays off in highly readable descriptions of the complex geologic features and ecologic relationships that weave throughout the epic struggle for a sustainable future in the Indiana dunes. Schoon’s belief in the power of education to inspire conservation and make possible restoration, shines through each chapter.”
 — Geof Benson, Executive Director, Dunes Learning Center

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Part I. Unrestricted Use of Resources
1. Henry Chandler Cowles and the Birth of American Ecological Science
2. Marquette and the Marquette Plan
3. Natural Resources of the Calumet Area
4. Industrialization of the Lakefront
5. Industrialization of the Grand Calumet River and the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal
6. The Push for Parks and Duneland Development 1890-1929
7. Port vs. Park: Conflict in the ’50s and ’60s
Part II. Returning to Sustainability
8. Earth Consciousness in the ’60s and ’70s (and IDEM)
9. The Road to Cleaner Air
10. The Road to Cleaner Water
11. Lake Michigan Health, Beach Closures, and Fishing
12. Brownfields Restored to Usefulness
13. Solid Waste and Recycling
14. Local Pioneering Heroes and Heroines
15. Environmental Education Opportunities
16. Preservation and Restoration of Natural Areas

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