DNR focused on visitor safety, enjoyment at this year's Coast Guard Fest at Grand Haven State Park

Contact: Sgt. Jeff Rabbers, 269-685-6861
Agency: Natural Resources

July 26, 2019

crowded beach on a sunny day at Grand Haven State Park, many umbrellas, visitors, etc.As the annual Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival starts up today in west Michigan, Department of Natural Resources conservation officers want the public to know there’s a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to those who would disrupt the event at Grand Haven State Park. In response to some disturbances and crowd-control issues at the park in recent years, the DNR has stepped up its law enforcement presence.

Taking place July 26-Aug. 4 this year, the nationally recognized Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival draws more than 1 million people to west Michigan.

“Grand Haven State Park is an amazing destination that offers plenty of opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy the park. Visitors come from all over the world to experience Grand Haven,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division.

“While the majority of guests enjoy the park safely and responsibly, our officers will not tolerate anyone who displays disruptive behavior,” Hagler said. “We will do our best to ensure everyone has a positive experience during the event.”

No amplified music or alcohol – regardless of age – are allowed at Grand Haven State Park. Before entering the park, visitors may have bags and coolers searched, and those who bring alcohol into the park will be ticketed.

“There are signs clearly posted along any park entry with the rules,” said the DNR’s Sgt. Jeff Rabbers. “We’re asking for the public’s cooperation as we work to enforce rules that can help us prevent challenging or unsafe situations.”

Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, said parks and law enforcement staff are working together to create a welcoming and safe park environment. “During the Coast Guard Fest and year-round, Grand Haven State Park offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy one of Michigan’s most beautiful beaches,” Olson said.

For more information about Grand Haven State Park, visit Michigan.gov/GrandHaven.