A new proposal from The Michigan Department of Natural Resources aims to keep Michiganders safe while they visit Lake Michigan.

While a summer trip to the lake sounds ideal, the truth is sometimes it can be a little dangerous. In 2020, Lake Michigan alone saw 57 people drown. So far in 2021 that number is up to 16.

Those drastic numbers created a need for a drastic response.

As reported by clickondetroit.com, the proposal presented by The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, would allow them to shut down a state beach when conditions are dangerous. Currently, people are encouraged to stay on the beach when water conditions are rough or when there's a red flag flying. However, under the new proposal, those who disobey the beach closing could face a fine of up to $500.

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Some groups have raised concerns that the passing of this proposal could set a precedent which would allow the state government to restrict access to other public areas. But, with 16 deaths already contributed to Lake Michigan a heavy response with fines, to me, feels almost necessary in order to keep the public safe.

Speaking of the public, they will be welcome to give their opinions and comments today, 7/15, at the Natural Resources Commission in Okemos which starts at 9am. I know, it's not a lot of notice.

Keep in mind, even with public comments the Department of Natural Resources Director, Dan Eichinger, will be the one responsible for either passing or denying the proposal. A decision is expected to be finalized in August.

If you have comments or concerns and cannot make the meeting today you can always contact the Department of Natural Resource online or find them on Facebook.

With all the doom and gloom aside, if you find yourself wanting to enjoy the sunshine on dry land here's a list of the best picnic spots in Michigan:

MORE TO EXPLORE: The Best Places for a Michigan Picnic