While we don’t have much great lakes coastline in the Huron River watershed, this is an important issue for the health of the Great Lakes–clean water and a healthy and diverse ecosystem.
Last week the state legislature voted to pass SB 1052, which deregulates beach grooming activities between the ordinary high water mark and the waters edge, an area the Michigan Supreme Court considers part of the public trust along Great Lakes shorelines.
The bill is on its way to the Governor now, and we are asking for a veto. His contact info is: 517.335.7858; RickSnyder@michigan.gov
In its final form, this bill:
- Removes the requirement that property owners get a permit before mowing or removing vegatation within that zone.
- Allows mowing live Phragmites all the way down to the water’s edge without any state review whatsoever ~ the very thing that spreads this destructive invasive! It could undo the fantastic success rate of controlling it using community programs, from Mackinaw City to Manistee.
- Allow removing all plants on broad areas of shoreline ~ destroying habitat for 90% of Great Lakes fish species and decimating good fishing for future generations.
- Eliminate state restrictions for mechanical plant removal on Great Lakes shorelines ~ this is not in line with our Pure Michigan values.
Native plants provide critical habitat for breeding waterfowl, filter polluted runoff and protect the shoreline from eroding. Removing native plants encourages invasives to take over. AND REMEMBER: this bill replaces a successful General Permit (GP) program that has been in place for 5 years; 600 applications received and only 4 denied! That is not an onerous regulatory program! But the beach grooming bill it is what this legislature has decided will replace that GP program.
Please make it to the Governor to veto this terrible bill. Thanks for your work. His contact info is: 517.335.7858; RickSnyder@michigan.gov