- Published on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 21:51
- Written by Super User
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
The Carolina Beach Town Council invited state officials to a meeting on Monday June 10, to discuss a request to use a mechanical beach rake more frequently than twice a year. Officials from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Division of Coastal Management met with Town officials and headed to the beach for the demonstration of the rake. (See page 1-A)
State officials expressed concerns the rake would remove organic materials such as shells and small crabs that are beneficial to the environment and could impact sea turtle nests by compacting the sand. All of their concerns are valid. Yet after watching the demonstration first hand, there was more trash picked up in a short run of the beach rake than shells and there were no crabs in the catch bin of the rake. As for compacting the sand and impacting sea turtle nests, that's why the Town has a turtle monitoring program. They patrol the beach every morning looking for new nests and mark them to keep the public and vehicles from driving over those nests. Florida permits use of beach rakes. In some areas they are used every morning to clean and smooth out the beachfront. Using employees to pickup trash from the beach is cost prohibitive. A mechanical rake with low tire pressure can help keep the beach clean for people, birds and sea turtles by removing plastic bags, bottles and other debris.
If we permit the police and lifeguard patrols to use large pickup trucks and ATV's on the beachfront, why not a mechanical beach rake. The "tines" that are used to rake the sand are adjustable from as deep as six inches to as little as an inch.
Monday's demonstration showed the machine only slightly disturbs the sand but does pick up trash.
Hopefully state officials will grant the Town's request and the rake can be used once a week or twice a month.