2012-05-17 / Community

Road-end docking now illegal

LANSING – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley recently signed legislation ensuring that public access to Michigan’s many lakes and streams is not obstructed by illegal boating-related activities.

Senate Bill 778, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, addresses a number of citizen complaints about inappropriate use of public road ends designated for public water access. Codifying several court decisions, the bill makes it a misdemeanor to use road ends for placing boat hoists or boat anchorage systems, mooring or docking boats between midnight and sunrise and installing a dock or wharf. Only single-season docks authorized by local government and approved by the Department of Environmental Quality will be permitted.

The misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 per day of violation.

“Water is one of the most precious natural resources the Great Lakes State has to offer,” Calley said. “Michiganders should have access to responsibly enjoy Pure Michigan’s lakes and rivers.”

The bill now is Public Act 56 of 2012.

Calley also signed numerous other bills while Gov. Rick Snyder was on a trade mission to Italy and Germany in March. Article V, Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor when the governor is outside the state. The bills signed included: H.B. 4846, enhancing water safety by requiring those towed by a boat to wear personal floatation devices; and H.B. 4847, requiring moored barges to be lit so other boaters can see the coming hazard even while operating in the dark.

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