09 • 16 • 2021

Surfing, other wave-riding exempted from MI water entry prohibition

Victory: Testimony from surfers and other water recreators influenced the Department to amend its water entry prohibition and exempt surfing, skimboarding, and body boarding with swim fins.

In an effort to reduce drownings in waters adjacent to Michigan State Parks and State Recreation Area lands, Michigan's Department of Natural Resources proposed a land use order which would prohibit water entry from these state lands during hazardous conditions.  The order as originally proposed would have prohibited water entry for any reason, including surfing, which would have drastically reduced access to the wave-riding public during peak wave-riding conditions, such as when wave height exceeds 3-5ft.  In response to outcry and testimony from wave-riding community members, the Department amended the order  to exempt board sport recreating individuals, skimboarders, and body boarders wearing swim fins. 

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