Michigan Water Rights and Regulations
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Monday, October 23, 2023
9:00 am – 4:30 pm EDT
Understanding Michigan Surface Water and Groundwater Rights
Presented by: R. Redick
- Riparian/littoral rights
- The public trust doctrine
- Government regulation of riparian rights
- Conveyance of riparian rights
- Bottomland allocation
- Water access agreements
- Dedicated outlets, parks and similar platted features
- Road ends
- Miscellaneous statutory considerations for lake access and use
- The Michigan common law of surface waters
- Groundwater rights and regulations
Permits and Michigan Waters (EnviroPortal)
Presented by: P. Sniadecki
- Highlight importance of WRD Division Permits
- Review various types of WRD Permits
- Overview of permit process
- Use of Michigan waters
- Encourage regular use
The Status of Lake and Natural Shoreline Friendly Ordinances in Michigan
Presented by: P. Sniadecki
- Importance of local planning and zoning to ensure water quality
Hot Topics for Michigan’s Lakes and Streams Discussion Panel
Presented by: P. Sniadecki, M. DeSimone & R. Bednarz
- Harmful algal blooms (HAB)
- Watercraft environmental impact when operating in “wake boat mode”
- Short term rentals (STR) impact on lake communities
- Aquatic invasive species and “Pure Michigan” What can be done?
- What should be done?
- Farming water withdrawals and the Michigan tools to assess impacts
- State-wide septic regulation
Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact Update
Presented by: N. Hall
- History of the compact
- Management history since 2008
- Current issues/challenges
- Looking toward the future
- US-Canada Boundary Waters Treaty
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6.0 HSW CE Hours
6.0 HSW LUs
6.0 HSW CE Hours
6.0 HSW PDHs
6.0 ASFPM CECs
6.0-Hour Learning Opportunity
Continuing Education Credit Information
This webinar is open to the public and is designed to qualify for up to 6.0 PDHs for professional engineers, 6.0 HSW continuing education hours for licensed architects, and 6.0 HSW continuing education hours for landscape architects in Michigan.
The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System has approved this course for 6.0 HSW LUs (Sponsor No. J885). Only full participation is reportable to the AIA/CES.
The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System has approved this course for 6.0 HSW PDHs. Only full participation is reportable to the LA CES.
This Association of State Floodplain Managers has approved this course for 6.0 CECs for floodplain managers.
HalfMoon Education is an approved CM Provider with the American Planning Association. This course is registered for CM | 6 for Certified Planners.
This course offers Michigan attorneys a 6.0-hour learning opportunity. Attorneys licensed in Michigan are not subject to CLE requirements.
Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the webinar for those who attend the entire course and score a minimum 80% on the quiz that follows the course (multiple attempts allowed).
The preceding credit information only applies to the live presentation. This course in an on-demand format may not be eligible for the same credits as the live presentation; please consult your licensing board(s) to ensure that a structured, asynchronous learning format is appropriate. The following pre-approvals may be available for the on-demand format upon request:
6.0 HSW LUs (AIA)
6.0 HSW PDHs (LA CES)
6.0 ASFPM CECs
Ralph BednarzNALMS Board Director, (Region 5)
Ralph Bednarz is a retired limnologist after a 35 year career in environmental protection and water resources management with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Mr. Bednarz managed Michigan’s inland lakes water quality monitoring and assessment programs. He was responsible for the implementation of the 2007 and 2012 National Lakes Assessment (NLA) in Michigan, and he served as a national trainer for the 2012 NLA. Mr. Bednarz coordinated the development and implementation of the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) volunteer water monitoring network, including the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP). He is working to advance protective lakes management programs in Michigan by serving on the Boards and committees of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS), Michigan-NALMS affiliate; Michigan Waterfront Alliance; Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership; and Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, including the Certified Natural Shoreline Professions program. Mr. Bednarz is also working to protect high quality lakes and healthy watersheds in northwest Michigan, one lake one shoreline at a time, by assisting and educating local units of government and lake associations on protective lakes management strategies. He facilitated the formation of the Rennie Lake Association, Grand Traverse Co., MI and he serves as its current president. He has a M.S. degree in Limnology from Michigan State University.
Melissa DeSimoneExecutive Director at Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, Inc
Ms. DeSimone is the executive director for Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, Inc. She also manages the production of the organization’s quarterly magazine, The Michigan Riparian, designed for members and subscribers concerned about lake and stream issues. Ms. DeSimone has volunteered for many years in different capacities for the Gravel Lake Association located in Southwest Michigan. She currently sits on the board of a handful of other nonprofit organizations in and outside of Michigan. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Education with concentrations in Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Governors State University. Ms. DeSimone also holds a Watershed Management Certificate from Purdue University.
Noah HallWayne State University
Mr. Hall’s expertise is in environmental and water law, and his research focuses on issues of environmental governance, federalism, and transboundary pollution and resource management. He joined the Wayne Law faculty in 2005. For the 2014-15 academic year, he served as the Law School’s associate dean for student affairs. Previously, he taught at the University of Michigan Law School and was an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation, where he managed the Great Lakes Water Resources Program for the nation’s largest conservation organization. Mr. Hall also worked in private practice for several years, representing a variety of business and public-interest clients in litigated and regulatory matters. He has extensive litigation experience and numerous published decisions in state and federal courts. Mr. Hall continues to represent a variety of clients in significant environmental policy disputes. From 2016-2019, he served as special assistant attorney general for Michigan for the Flint water investigation. Mr. Hall is founder of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, a nonprofit environmental organization that provides legal assistance to community organizations, environmental non-governmental organizations, and local, state and regional governments. He continues to serve as the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center’s scholarship director. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, concentrating in environmental policy. After law school, Mr. Hall clerked for the Hon. Kathleen A. Blatz, chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Ronald M. RedickMika Meyers PLC
Mr. Redick of Mika Meyers practices primarily in the areas of municipal, real property and appellate law, with a focus on land use and riparian rights litigation. He speaks annually at seminars on Michigan land use and zoning laws, riparian rights, and other aspects of surface water-related property rights. He is enthusiastic about riparian rights and other aspects of water rights law, and finds it greatly satisfying to help clients understand and protect these important property rights. Mr. Redick has been selected for inclusion in Grand Rapids Magazine’s list of Top Lawyers in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. He is also a trustee for the Grand Haven Charter Township, which is a new position he entered after serving 13 years as chairperson of the Township Planning Commission.
Paul SniadeckiBoard Director of Michigan Lakes & Streams Association, Inc
Mr. Sniadecki is a MSUe certified zoning admin and master citizen planner. He got his master of science degree in Business Administration from Indiana University (South Bend). Mr. Sniadecki retired after 37.5 years of service in a nation-wide governmental agency. He was the lead and consolidated petitioner in the Eagle Lake contested permit process involving a boating access site (BAS). He is a frequent contributor of timely articles for the MLSA Newsletter and The Michigan Riparian since 2012. In 2012, he achieved MLSA Riparian of the Year.
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AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA/CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA/CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.
Course Title: Michigan Water Rights and Regulations
Delivery Method: Live Online
Course Description: This six-hour course will assist learners in understanding Michigan surface water and groundwater rights and complying with applicable regulations. The course will explore riparian rights, common law of surface waters, the permit process, lake and natural shoreline ordinances, and current environmental issues affecting water resources in Michigan.
Learning Objective 1:
Learners will be able to explain the public trust doctrine, discuss the regulation and conveyance of riparian rights, and identify statutory considerations for lake access and use.
Learning Objective 2:
Learners will be able to identify the various types of Michigan Water Resources Division (WRD) permits and review the permit process.
Learning Objective 3:
Learners will be able to discuss current environmental issues affecting Michigan’s water resources, including harmful algal blooms, aquatic invasive species, farming water withdrawals, and watercraft wakes.
Learning Objective 4:
Learners will be able to explain the importance of local planning and zoning in protecting water quality, as well as the status of lake and natural shoreline ordinances.
LUs: 6.0 LU Type: LU|HSWs.
Prerequisites: Familiarity with site design and drainage
Advance Preparation: None
Program Level: Intermediate
Course Expiration Date:
Complaint Resolution Policy:
Complaints regarding this course can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (715) 835-5900. A HalfMoon Education representative will respond within 72 hours to resolve the complaint, which will include, but not limited to, access to another CE activity at no or reduced cost or a full or partial refund. Each instance will be resolved on a case-by-case situation.