ALGOMA, Wis. (WFRV) – With temperatures forecast to hit 90 plus this weekend, many people will probably think about hitting a beach. And the City of Algoma has purchased a new tool to keep its Crescent Beach, safe and clean.
On the sunrise side of the state in Algoma, a sandy beach, half a mile long. And on it rolls a new piece of equipment, to help keep this precious natural asset clean.
“Really efficient, you couldn’t come out here with a crew and clean up as good as the machine does,” said Bruce Charles while walking on the beach.
This beach-cleaning machine is called a “surf rake.”
“This will actually go down into the sand one and half to two inches,” said Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy.
And roughly two months ago Murphy added it to his better-beach toolbox – for use here at Crescent Beach..
“Those fingers will actually pick up all the way down to a cigarette butt, pieces of trash and remove it off the beach, bring it up into the back of the hopper and dump it,” said Murphy.
So far Murphy says the surf rake has picked up 12 dump truck loads of debris. And the Friends of Crescent Beach, who are committed to preserving the beach, say they are impressed by the rake’s performance.
“It should reduce the amount of bacteria in the sand in our beach and that in turn will improve your shore waters, making a healthier beach for everyone,” said group member Cathy Pabich.
While Murphy says his staff is still getting use to the surf rake…
“Obviously there is a learning curve. How fast do you go, how slow should you go, how deep should you be?” Murphy said.
…he says his team likes this tool and the results they’ve seen so far.
“We’re very happy with it,” he said.
And Murphy says the rake will now clean the beach at least twice a month, setting the table for a busy summer beach season.
“We’ll see on a Thursday afternoon, Friday, Saturday, there could be upward to 350 people down here on the beach,” said Murphy.
But one with a lot less unwanted debris hidden in the sand .
Murphy says the surf rake cost $45,000 and was paid for entirely through grants and some donations. Meaning the expense to taxpayers was zero dollars.