Street sweepers clean the streets. Zambonis clean the ice. And sand rakes…well…they clean the sand.
“This is what goes into the sand and actually grabs material and carries it into the hopper,” Senior Field Inspector with Collier County Rick Simpson said.
The machine cleans up cigarette butts, bottle caps, plastic bottles, and straws. But more importantly right now — dead fish.
Lee County just bought two of these surf rake machines, each with a price tag of $60,000. But, these machines can also be used year round.
“The objective is to pull material that we don’t want on the beach, off the beach,” Simpson said.
The goal is to get rid of the dead sea life on the beaches.
“It will keep the sand in place. We’ll use the machines to pick rip any debris, seaweed, dead fish, and trash,” Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass said.
Collier County has already been using the surf rake for the past 15 years.
“It increases the conditions of your beach and beautifies the beach,” Simpson said.
Now you’ll see the Barber Surf Rake on Lee County beaches starting next week. The rake can cover nine acres an hour and can pick up 4,500 pounds of material. And the money spent on the machines comes from tourism tax dollars.
The idea is to make the cleanup faster and easier, especially when we have the problems we have now because of red tide.
Learn more about the Surf Rake .
Additional reporting by Brittany Muller