What if We Can’t Walk on the Beach Anymore?
There is a debate about to hit the U.S. Supreme Court. That fact alone means that it’s already been discussed in several courts along the way and it also means this is serious – or at least it’s being taken seriously.
MLive recently published a story – found HERE – about an Indiana family who wants to own their Lake Michigan beach, all of it. It’s a nice thought and I may want the same thing if I was in their position but when we take a step back, it’s pretty easy to see that objectively this is bad.
In fact, this issue has already been taken up and decided on by the Michigan Supreme Court. In 2005 the court ruled that the property rights of home owners extend to the high water line, leaving the beach available for our sunset or sunrise walks. However, an alternate decision by the land’s highest court could change things for us here, in Michigan. In fact, it would do just that…If the US Supreme Court were to rule in favor of the Indiana couple, it would mean that there is no requirement to provide public access to beach walkers and the property line of the home owner would extend to the actual water line. That could end the freedom to beach walk in front of lake front (Great Lake) homes on all US land.
Even though it’s December and there are months before we get back to beach walking, this is an important issue with no shortage of opinions. We think it’s one worth keeping an eye on and talking about.
As a community that celebrates our lakes, we want to protect our right to do so on their beaches! Everyone should know what a mile beach walk at sunset on Lake Michigan feels like.