ALGOMA, Wisconsin (WFRV) – With temperatures forecast to hit 90 plus this weekend, many people will likely be thinking about going to the beach. And the City of Algoma bought a new tool to keep its Crescent Beach safe and clean.
On the sunrise side of the state in Algoma, a half mile long sandy beach. And on top of it rolls a new piece of equipment, to help keep this precious natural asset clean.
“Really efficient, you couldn’t come here with a crew and clean as well as the machine,” said Bruce Charles as he walked the beach.
This beach cleaning machine is called a “surf rake”.
“It’s actually going to go down in the sand an inch and a half to two inches,” said Matt Murphy, Algoma’s public works manager.
And about two months ago, Murphy added it to his Best Beach Toolkit – for use here in Crescent Beach.
“Those fingers are actually going to pick up up a cigarette butt, bits of trash and pull them off the beach, get them to the back of the hopper and throw them away,” Murphy said.
So far, Murphy says the surf rake has picked up 12 dump trucks of debris. And the Friends of Crescent Beach, who are committed to preserving the beach, say they are impressed with the rake’s performance.
“This should reduce the amount of bacteria in the sand on our beach and this in turn will improve your coastal waters, creating a healthier beach for everyone,” said Cathy Pabich, group member.
While Murphy says his staff are still getting used to the surf rake …
“There is obviously a learning curve. How fast should you go, how fast should you go, how deep should you be? Murphy said.
… He says his team loves this tool and the results they have seen so far.
“We are very satisfied 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 up to 350 people here on the beach,” Murphy said.
But one with much less unwanted debris hidden in the sand.
Murphy says the surf rake cost $ 45,000 and was fully funded by grants and donations. This means that the expense for the taxpayer was zero dollars.