Michigan Boating Week begins June 4

Local boaters drive under Maple Street Bridge on Manistee River in downtown Manistee on June 3, 2016. (Austin Denean/News Advocate)

Local boaters drive under Maple Street Bridge on Manistee River in downtown Manistee on June 3, 2016. (Austin Denean/News Advocate)

MANISTEE COUNTY – June 4 marks the start of Michigan Boating Week to encourage people to use the state’s vast amount of water resources.

The weeklong campaign concludes on National Marina Day on June 11.

“Michigan is one of the best freshwater destinations in the world,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “Michigan is home to unparalleled boating experiences and we want to highlight those opportunities during Michigan Boating Week by increasing awareness of Michigan’s waterways.”

Boating week is also an opportunity to emphasize the importance of the boating industry to Michigan, utilizing freshwater resources and boating safety.

Manistee County’s peak boating season takes place from May-September, which is when the U.S. Coast Guard receives a majority of its response calls.

Coast Guard responds to a variety of situations from emergency search and rescue to disabled vessels, which is most common in the area.BoatingFacts

U.S. Manistee County Coast Guard: Station Manistee boat crewman Adrian Ledesma offers safety advice for boaters during the summer months.

“Rough weather can pose a significant threat to your safety, because recreational wake boats aren’t built to take heavier weather,” Ledesma said. “Check the condition of your vessel before you leave and make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment.”

Required safety equipment includes life jackets, flares, fire extinguisher, working navigation lights and noise making devices.

Visitors at First Street and Fifth Street beaches will find colored flags at the emergency phones, which indicate the water’s safety on that day.

Green means water conditions are good, yellow stands for exercising caution because of rougher conditions and red is to stay out of the water because it is too dangerous.

Ledesma said that the Coast Guard reminds people who swim near peers that riptides can pull them out to deeper, dangerous waters and to exercise caution.

According to United State Lifesaving Association, rip currents occur at beaches where there are breaking waves, and the location of rip currents can be unpredictable.

A rip current forms because breaking waves push water towards the land. Water that has been pushed up near the beach flows together, and this water finds a place to flow back in the sea.

Michigan is home to an estimated 4 million boating enthusiasts, approximately 1 million registered boats and 300,000 nonregistered canoes and kayaks.

The state has nearly 3,300 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams, so recreational boaters are never farther than 6 miles from a lake or stream.

“Michigan Boating Week is an opportunity to highlight the importance of the boating industry to our state’s economy as well as its importance to the quality of life for nearly 4 million recreational boaters,” said Nicki Polan, executive director for the Michigan Boating Industries Association. “Michigan’s freshwater resources help build lakeside communities and boating industries such as tourism, commercial fishing, boat manufacturing and related industries.”

Michigan residents help fund more than 1,300 public boating access sites and 82 harbors administered by state, county and local units of government through two important sources of funding, including a portion of revenue collected from Michigan’s gas tax and watercraft registrations.

A rip current forms because breaking waves push water towards the land. Water that has been pushed up near the beach flows together, and this water finds a place to flow back in the sea.

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Posted by Austin Denean

Austin is a summer intern at the News Advocate; he will be covering a variety of topics and events. He can be reached at (231) 398-3114 or mnaintern@pioneergroup.com.

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