Over the past several months, Michigan has been a center of beach grooming debate, as its legislature repealed the requirement for beach owners to have permits to clean the top parts of their beach to the tideline using mechanical means. Previously, beach owners needed to apply for a $100 permit and be approved to use any mechanical methods. On July 2, bill 2012 PA 247 was signed into law, allowing beach owners to maintain their beaches as they see fit down to the high-tide line.
With over 3,200 miles of coastline on the Great Lakes, this frees up a considerable amount of beach owners. Opponents of the legislation were concerned about protecting the coastline environment. However only 4 permits were denied since 2007, so the change in cleaning activity is likely not to change drastically, and the marginal profits the 500 issued permits are not likely to be missed by the state. This removal of red-tape, however, has caused quite a stir.
How is this recent tryst with policy and politics applicable to the beach cleaning community? Primarily, it highlights a common middle-ground in policy between beach owners and environmental groups. While many beaches would be unusable and unsafe without regular cleaning, ecosystems should be respected when cleaning, as well. Michigan granted additional freedom to clean the top part of the beach while respecting the environmental safety of the beaches by restricting them from cleaning bellow the tideline.
Therefore, in addition to granting additional freedom to beach cleaners in Michigan, this bill also reminds the beach cleaning community that beach cleaning is not simply bad or good, but that its benefits can be balanced with the concerns it creates.
This blog is managed by H. Barber & Sons. Founded in 1966, Barber is the world leader in beach cleaner production and authority on beach cleaning practices. This site and blog have been compiled to provide information about beach cleaners--their methods of cleaning, importance, and many applications.
Please direct any questions our way using the 'Contact Us' form. Thanks!