As everyone knows, during the past year or two, both the Great Lakes and many inland lakes in Michigan have been at historically high lake levels. High water, combined with waves from storms and certain boating activities (particularly, from wake boats), have severely damaged and eroded shorelines throughout Michigan. Such conditions have also flooded front yards, harmed docks and seawalls, and flooded basements. Improper boating practices only exacerbate the problem.
Recently, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Public Act No. 70 of 2020 (House Bill 5401) and Public Act No. 71 of 2020 (House Bill 5402). Effective April 2, 2020, Public Act Nos. 70 and 71 permit the County Sheriff, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, or the County Emergency Management Coordinator to establish temporary reduced watercraft speed limits upon the request of a local municipality in order to protect life and property during emergency conditions. The temporary speed limits are limited to a maximum duration of 14 days. Violation of a temporary speed limit is a civil infraction. Generally, temporary speed limits can only be issued once per a calendar year; however, they may be issued twice if the municipality is seeking to implement the speed limit restrictions under a temporary ordinance.