To Rake, or Not to Rake?

Kirk   June 21, 2007   Comments Off on To Rake, or Not to Rake?

We currently spend over a half million dollars a year in Bay County to clean our beaches. It is expensive to operate high-tech machinery and tractors to groom the beach. According to this article on beach grooming from the Surfrider Foundation, grooming has its negatives, including:

  • Significantly lower diversity and abundance of wrack-associated animals (wrack is seaweed that washes up on our shores from time to time.)
  • Lower abundance of shorebirds
  • Higher relative numbers of flies
  • Lower numbers of native plants
  • Coarser sand

In another article from Surfrider, it claims that the federal government does not allow grooming on most beaches during sea turtle and shorebird nesting seasons, unless a special annual permit is granted where it is proven that no nesting activity exists. As many crazy hoops as Bay County already has to jump through to protect the turtles, how do we avoid this one?

Last year, the TDC renewed a 5 year contract with a company to continue to use tractors, trailors and Barber Surf Rakes on the beach. By the time that contract is over in 2011, I hope to have the TDC convinced that people, not machines, are what we need to keep the beaches clean.