Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 12.01.36 PM

Speak Out Against Senate Bill 581: Protect Our Right to the Lake Michigan Shoreline

by Natalie Johnson, Executive Director, Save the Dunes

The Lake Michigan shoreline is a place to make memories. It's hard to imagine the right to access the beach being taken away from residents and visitors. Yet, even with all of the work done to protect the public's right to enjoy the shoreline, a bill that threatens this right is quietly working its way through the Indiana General Assembly.

Senate Bill 581 is a ticking time bomb. The bill:

  • Threatens to give away state-owned shoreland to a small number of private beachfront landowners along the lake.
  • Threatens to allow private construction of walls and other barriers that prevent people from walking on shoreland that the law says rightfully belongs to all Hoosiers.
  • Strips local governments of the authority to protect their own municipal parks and dune property and to apply zoning laws within their jurisdiction.

It's time for Hoosier's to speak out to protect their right to access Lake Michigan. Please join residents and visitors in sending a message to members of the House of Representatives to let them know that the public's right to the shoreline is a matter of settled state and federal law and that SB 581 should not pass. 

Save the Dunes has created a petition in which we are urging all Lake Michigan users to sign. By signing this petition, your name will be added to this letter. This letter is intended for the House Committee on Natural Resources as well as Governor Eric Holcomb and Department of Natural Resources Director Cameron Clark. This letter may also be circulated with other members of the House of Representatives as well as the bill's author, Senator Blake Doriot. By signing on, you help protect Hoosiers' right to enjoy Lake Michigan.  

Please sign the petition before March 11, 2019.

Going a Step Further

In addition to the petition above, we encourage the calling and emailing of your local representative as well as any other House representatives that you are willing to contact. Please consider following the link below for names and contact information of other House members. Remember, the message is simple: Stop SB 581 in order to preserve the public's right to the Lake Michigan Shoreline. Be sure to tell them why this shoreline is important to you!

Rep. Sean Eberhart, Chair - Natural Resources Committee

Rep. Jeff Ellington, Vice Chair, Natural Resources Committee

Mr. Cameron Clark, Director, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

  • Phone:  (317) 232-4567
  • Email:                          

Governor Eric Holcomb, Governor - State of Indiana


Find your Local Representative 

Save the Dunes wishes to thank the Conservation Law Center of Bloomington, IN for their support and representation in the fight to protect the public trust. Please be sure to check them out online at


Written by