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US Supreme Court won’t hear Lake Michigan beach case

Posted: 6:49 PM, Feb 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-19 18:52:23-05

LONG BEACH, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Indiana residents who want to extend their property rights to the state’s Lake Michigan shoreline.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the high court denied a petition by two landowners in Long Beach, Indiana, who live adjacent to the lake.

Don and Bobbie Gunderson were appealing a ruling last year by the Indiana Supreme Court that set the ordinary high water mark as the boundary between state-owned land under Lake Michigan and private property. They contended their lakefront property extends to the water’s edge and that landowners have the right to limit who uses the beaches abutting their properties.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a statement Tuesday in support of the decision:

“This decision is good news for our Great Lakes and for people across the state. We in Michigan are defined by our water. Whether you’re fishing, swimming, or climbing the dunes on Lake Michigan, so many memories are made on the shores of our Great Lakes. Today’s decision is an important step in making sure that people across the state and from all over the world can continue to enjoy they Great Lakes and make new memories here in Michigan.”

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the state owns the shoreline and holds it in trust for all residents.