Volunteers including building trades union members and county officials work with Jim Beaudoin of Bluewater Docks, Algonac, right, to heft sections of a floating dock installed Friday at the Bay City State Recreation Area beach.
Hey Swimmers: You Can Now Reach the Bay Without Getting Stuck in the Muck!
County's $13,250 Floating Dock Solution Provides Bridge to Water
Swimmers at Bay City State Recreation Area how have a "muckless" way to reach the water.
A six foot strip of muck on the water's edge has been bridged by two 40-foot floating docks, installed last Friday.
The hope by beach volunteers is that now swimmers and sunbathers will be more inclined to use the park and the beach.
As we reported recently, (please see MyBayCity.com archives May 29, 2006, "C'mon Up, the Swimming's Fine at Bay City State Recreation Area") the beach volunteers have succeeded in getting approval to clean 1,200 feet of beach; and it is gorgeous. However, because of the muck, nobody is using the newly cleaned beach. Last Friday was a gorgeous day but not one soul was on the beach.
Volunteers from Local 692 of the Building Trades Council worked with County Commissioners Kim Coonan, Ernie Krygier and Vaughn Begick, county, city and Bangor Township officials to install the seasonal composite floating docks.
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Also on hand were State Sen. James A. Barcia and State Rep. Jeff Mayes, both Bay City Democrats, County Legislative-Financial Analyst Robert Redmond, road commission candidate Don Goulet and others.
Funding for the project is provided by $8,100 from the county's Donald Pero Wildlife Fund, $5,000 from the Save Our Shoreline group and a donation of $150 from Commissioner Coonan for shipping the dock segments from Algonac.
Jim Beaudoin, "the dock guy," from Bluewater Docks, Algonac, supervised the project. "This is a test run and these docks can be extended later with other sections," he said. The docks are handicapped accessible and also can be equipped with railings.
Sen. Barcia is shepherding through the Legislature an appropriation for $100,000 for a more permanent dock structure at the recreation area. Funds will come from the state's Bay-Harbor Development Fund, he said.
The local legislators also forsee a settlement of the beach grooming issue in the next few weeks.
Next on the"wish list" of the beach volunteers is a way to clean the muck, but that will require special permission of the Army Corps, the DEQ, the DNR, Homeland Security, etc., etc.
Somewhere in mid-Michigan is an $800,000 beach cleaner that is needed at the bay front park, says Sen. Barcia, who recalls getting an appropriation for that equipment when he was a state senator previously before going to Congress.
"They tried to use the equipment but the feds (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) wouldn't let us," recalled Sen. Barcia last Friday. The expensive equipment likely is in a state warehouse in the area, he theorized. DNR officials will be asked to locate it for possible use pending an agreement with all governmental entities.
The government has what seems to some observers to be a perverse policy: cleaning beaches of aquatic muck is prohibited. Hopefully the bureaucratic red tape can be cleared away just like the muck.
Outdoors Article 1167
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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