A bill President Trump signed into law Friday makes Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore the state’s first National Park.
The language is included in H.J.Res. 31, or the Consolidated Appropriations Act. It provides full-year funding for several government agencies not included in other appropriations bills.
Indiana lawmakers have proposed making the lakeshore a National Park for years. Supporters of the measure say it will bring new visitors to the state by attracting national attention.
Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Merrillville) helped push for the change.
“I also am heartened that because of the support of our U.S. Senators, the entire Indiana Congressional delegation, and numerous Northwest Indiana organizations, we have successfully titled the first National Park in our state,” he says in a statement. “This action provides our shoreline with the recognition it deserves, and I hope further builds momentum to improve open and public access to all of our region’s environmental wonders.”
The National Park Service Acting Director testified last year in opposition to the change, saying the agency prefers its parks to have lots of resources and large pieces of land or water that can protect them.