SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Indiana mulls law aiming to limit Lake Michigan beach access

Indiana State Flag

Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would undo a landmark Indiana Supreme Court ruling that affirmed that the shoreline of Lake Michigan is unquestionably owned by the state and held in trust for use by all residents.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 10:13 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would undo a landmark Indiana Supreme Court ruling that affirmed that the shoreline of Lake Michigan is unquestionably owned by the state and held in trust for use by all residents.

The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Doug Miller, would give up the state's ownership of large swaths of Indiana’s lake shoreline to adjacent private property owners if the property description in their deeds indicates the land extends to Lake Michigan.

The Indiana House Committee on Judiciary recently heard testimony from residents, interest groups and legislators on the proposed measure.

Those who support the bill, most of whom said they own property in Long Beach, said they have no issues with people temporarily accessing the beach from their land. However, the interest groups and legislators that oppose the measure said it will prohibit public access to Northwest Indiana beaches.

In its 2018 ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court guaranteed public access to Lake Michigan beaches after dismissing a claim that deeds showing property lines running into the lake are valid. Indiana, upon becoming a state in 1816, obtained ownership of the shoreline to the ordinary high water mark, which is defined as the shoreline created by water fluctuations.

Sen. Karen Tallian reminded the committee that the Lake Michigan shore runs for 45 miles (72 kilometers) in Indiana “and half of that is in my district.” Tallian said the committee needs to remember that the measure will impact everyone along the shore.

“You have to be really careful what you do,” Tallian said.

Tallian said it is “sadly ironic” that the committee discussed the bill after she and Rep. Pat Boy sent a letter last week to Gov. Eric Holcomb asking him to declare a state of emergency for disaster funding to address beach erosion in Porter and LaPorte counties.

“We no longer have a beach in Northwest Indiana, is pretty much the case,” Tallian said. “We have a mess, and we’re going to be losing properties up there.”

The House Committee on Judiciary will discuss the bill again Jan. 27.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30901

Reported Deaths: 1964
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9040531
Lake3191167
Cass15796
Allen121365
St. Joseph113234
Hendricks110365
Hamilton109291
Johnson1065102
Elkhart93827
Madison57658
Bartholomew46733
Porter46521
Clark45038
LaPorte38721
Tippecanoe3563
Jackson3531
Howard34417
Delaware34027
Hancock31527
Shelby31121
Floyd31138
Boone27935
Morgan25724
Vanderburgh2402
Decatur22131
White2128
Montgomery21114
Clinton2041
Harrison18321
Grant17820
Noble17420
Dubois1712
Greene16723
Warrick16326
Dearborn16221
Monroe15810
Henry1556
Lawrence14222
Miami1351
Vigo1357
Putnam1297
Jennings1264
Orange12222
Scott1153
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll882
Daviess8116
Steuben762
Newton7210
Wabash722
Kosciusko711
Wayne665
Marshall611
LaGrange592
Washington521
Jasper521
Fayette504
Fulton461
Rush452
Jefferson411
Jay410
Clay381
Pulaski380
Randolph373
Whitley342
Brown331
Sullivan311
Starke303
Owen301
DeKalb281
Knox240
Benton240
Crawford230
Perry230
Huntington222
Tipton221
Wells220
Switzerland190
Blackford191
Fountain172
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer141
Gibson132
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Martin100
Union80
Vermillion80
Pike50
Unassigned0152
West Lafayette
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Rensselaer
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Fowler
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Williamsport
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 88°
Delphi
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 85°
Monticello
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 85°
Logansport
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Warm Temperatures For Memorial Day
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events