Boardwalk planned for Bay City state park - WNEM TV 5

Boardwalk planned for Bay City state park

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A Mid-Michigan Chamber of Commerce has been focusing on legislative issues on Friday during an annual luncheon.

The Bay City Chamber played host to local and state lawmakers discussing issues that affect the Bay area. At the gathering TV5 received word on some progress to report on the comeback of beaches in Bay County.

The chamber announced a plan to create a boardwalk and clean-up more of the beach.

Rep. Charles Brunner said work could start as early as next week for 670 feet of beach.

As the temperatures heat up people will be spending more time outside, but one thing people said they won't be doing at the Bay City State Recreation Area is swimming.

"It's gooey, real gooey. You'll go up to your knees in it," said Mark Lindauer, beach goer.

A thick, black muck coats the shoreline of the Saginaw Bay.

"It's a tough sell. We've been labeled muck here, muck there, muck everywhere," said Ernie Krygier, chairman of the Bay County Board of Commissioners.

Krygier has come out to help clean up the state park for years. He hopes to restore it back to the great destination spot it used to be.

"It's a shame that people camp here, but if they want to go to the beach they go to Caseville, they go to Tawas," Krygier said.

Krygier can only clean up to the water line. After that, the EPA said the muck is good for the water.

Millions of tourism money is untapped when beaches are too gross to enjoy. That potential money could be going back into Bay County if the beach was a little cleaner.

"People do come out here and if the beach is in great shape they will come back," Krygier said.

A new boardwalk was announced at the meeting to easily connect people to the water.

"With kids and strollers and coolers and umbrellas, they'll have a nice easy shot to the bay," Krygier said.

With some improvements on the way, residents are looking forward to a change in the landscape.

"For this beautiful area and miles worth of beach we could use for activities. A lot of us are active and we've talked about using it for triathlons, but it's just not right for it," said Chase Westfield, beach goer.

The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is urging residents to submit a letter of support to the Army Corps of engineers by May 15.

Letters can be sent to the following mailing address:

Mr. Eric Warda, Chief
Permit Evaluation Eastern Branch
Regulatory Office
Detroit District, Corps of Engineers
477 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226-2550

Or you can email the letter to Henry.Rosenield@usace.army.mil and CC the chamber at chamber@baycityarea.com

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