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Deep dive into the 'blue economy' (PDF) Michigan Township Focus, May 2016

Cooperative Approaches to Lake Issues 2013 (PDF) Presentation by Catherine Mullhaupt, MTA Staff Attorney, Member Information Services

Protecting Michigan's Inland Lakes: A Guide for Local Governments, MSUE MDEQ

Protecting Michigan's Inland Lakes: A Toolkit for Local Governments, MDEQ

Townships have authority to address a variety of issues involving inland lakes, including:


Regulating Road Ends

Under Public Act 56 of 2012, MCL 324.30111b (in the Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act), effective March 22, 2012, a county, township, city or village with jurisdiction over a public road ending on an inland lake or stream (not a Great Lake) may prohibit a use that violates that section of the law. Under the Act, a violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $500. Each 24-hour period that a violation exists will be considered a separate violation.

Aquatic Weed/Nuisance Control

MDEQ Inland Lakes & Streams

Part 33: Aquatic Nuisance Control

Part 309: Inland Lake Improvements (lake boards)

Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership website on natural shorelines and erosion control


Dam Safety
MDEQ Dam Safety Program:

Note that dams are considered private property, so a township may not spend public money on a dam, unless it is to establish or stabilize lake levels.



MDEQ Inland Lakes & Streams

Erosion Control
MDEQ Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control

Lake Levels

Water Use, Levels and Diversions (MDEQ web page)

Part 307: Inland Lake Levels

Marine Safety

Part 801: Marine Safety


Lake Boards

A township may act jointly with other governmental units and may participate in various lake improvements, including invasive species control (plant and animal), as a member of a lake board formed under Part 309 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, MCL 324.30901, et seq.

Special Assessments

A township may also use the Public Improvements Act, Public Act 188 of 1954, MCL 41.721, et seq., to establish special assessment districts for lake improvement purpose, including invasive species (plant and animal).

Water Improvement Tax Increment Finance Authority

Public Act 25 of 2013 amended PA 94 of 2008, Water Improvement Tax Increment Finance Authority Act, MCL 125.1771, et seq., to remove the sunset of that Act and allow for the creation of new authorities, allow for dredging and other improvement projects (including aquatic nuisance control) to be financed under the act, and allow harbors and their tributaries to be included within resource improvement districts, among other things. PA 25 took effect August 9, 2013.

When local units of government create a tax increment financing authority (TIFA), they generally establish a special district to capture future increases in taxes within the district's boundaries to finance public infrastructure improvement projects within the district; this can include the issuance of bonds to finance projects. The aim of a water resource improvement TIFA under the act is to promote water resource improvement or access to inland lakes, or both, in a water resource district. The act allows local units to exempt their taxes from capture and does not allow the capture of state and local school taxes.


Created on Tuesday, July 31, 2012