The Macomb County Sheriff Marine Division will patrol via yellow kayaks upon the Clinton River - Blue Water Trail from the launch at Avon & Livernois to Lake St. Clair. Plans are in place from Mark Hackel's office assigning five deputies to the Blue Water Trail attempting to insure boater safety. The press conference held on Thursday along the riverbanks of the Clinton River was covered by the Macomb Daily newspaper.
The catch; they bought sit-on-top kayaks and they simply won't patrol when the weather is cold or rainy. It'll be interesting to see who does SAR (search and rescue) when there is high water and novice paddlers get in trouble. The Marine Patrol Division is commanded by Lt. Brian Barlog under Mark Hackel. The division clearly understands there is a lot of woody debris in the river. All the cleanup efforts I've ever been aware of , involved unpaid, volunteers, using their own personal equipment, time, muscle and sweat to make the river navigable. Now, after numerous years, of good hearted people voluntarily dumping enormous amounts of sweat equity into the river, the Sheriff patrol magically pops up and wants a part of it.
As someone who helped create 7 miles of the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail in Oakland County , I know first hand how much work it is to clear deadfall and debris on a river. Running sharp chainsaws, standing in waist deep current , with silt sucking your feet , underwater root balls tripping your every move and maneuvering heavy trees is no picnic for the faint hearted or meek. I have real mixed feelings about government constantly leaving the real work to volunteers instead of stepping up long ago to help.
The local governments are waking up the fact that water trails are infrastructure. Blue Infrastructure - waterways have value just like a land park with swings and soccer fields. Michigan neighborhoods become more valuable when people can recreate via paddlesports.
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