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DNR considers new, more strict red flag flag rules at state beaches

Posted at 6:12 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 10:51:46-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — The DNR has always said not to enter the water on the Great Lakes if the red flags are flying.

Now, a new proposal would make it a firm civil infraction if you enter the water while conditions are rough.

“We rarely write tickets for people. We seek compliance. We’re hopeful we’ll never have to write a ticket for this. But like other things, you get defiant individuals. It gives us the chance to have a consequence if someone really didn’t behave themselves,” DNR director of Parks and Recreation Ron Olson said.

The rule wouldn't apply to surfers or windsurfers, an update from more recent proposals, the DNR explained. But anyone who enters the water next summer on a red flag day would be breaking the new rule, which if signed could go into effect spring 2022.

“It’s a tool. We’re not trying to be ogres here. I don’t think people will notice too much difference. Except for the fact that there will be times, that we will put a notice out… don’t go in the water until conditions improve,” Olson said.