By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director
New Year is a time to reflect on the previous year and celebrate the arrival of a new one. It’s also a time to share hopeful New Year wishes with everyone in your life, including fellow riparians. After all, these are the people you made incredible memories with in 2021 and will likely continue to make memories with in 2022. In that light, the following are my New Year’s wishes for 2022:
- Maybe 2022 is the year the Michigan DNR joins other states and establishes an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) tag that watercraft must display when enjoying the waters of our state. The yearly fee would range from $5-$15, and the proceeds would be used to fund direct AIS control and eradication actions on inland lakes and streams. The cost of ANC permits, herbicides, and other methods would be included.
- Hopefully 2022 is the year state legislators finally resolve to stop efforts to pre-empt local control of planning and zoning, especially in regards to Short-Term Rentals (STR).
- Perhaps 2022 can be the year that Michigan lawmakers, the DNR, and EGLE acknowledge the inland lake damage that can occur when watercraft operate in wake boat mode. The DNR would then work with county marine patrols to develop which inland lakes would be suitable for wake boat mode and the specific lake areas where that activity could occur.
- Maybe in 2022 the DNR will decide to fund and deploy decontamination/disinfection stations at all of its lake access locations. With the rise of effective waterless stations, such AIS spread protections are no longer dependent on sewer/septic drains and water supply.
- Perhaps in 2022 watercraft users will truly acknowledge the common law (and common sense) that they are responsible for the impact of their wake. Maybe they will even realize that sound travels far on lakes so they play music at reasonable levels and perhaps observe quiet hours in the evening.
- Hopefully 2022 is the year that lawmakers repeal the ‘No Stricter Than Federal’ Michigan law passed in late 2018, during the lame-duck legislature, and signed by former Gov. Rick Snyder.
- Maybe in 2022, neighbor will help neighbor in the proliferation of natural shoreline features and understand the reasons why manicured lawns to the waters edge pose water quality problems.
So, there is a lot to wish for in 2022. What do you wish for when it comes to Michigan’s lakes and streams? Maybe if we wish and work collectively something can happen.
(Disclaimer: This article should not be construed as representing the official position of MLSA or any of its agents, partners, or associates. The author‘s concepts are his own. Moreover, any resemblances to common sense or the furthering of the common good are coincidental)