City considers dyeing river green

January 7, 2009 4:22:04 AM PST
A man's request to dye the Saginaw River emerald green for St. Patrick's Day has raised a red flag among some officials who say the brown-colored tributary may be better left alone.

Brad Meyer asked the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for permission to dye the river green, following traditions in Chicago and Dublin, Ireland. His request has been endorsed by Bay County Executive Thomas L. Hickner.

"Each year Bay City has a festive St. Patrick's Day celebration consisting of a parade that heads downtown towards the Saginaw River," Hickner wrote. "Dyeing the river green would add to the excitement of the day without any harm to the watershed."

Others have yet to give the idea the green light.

"I have no idea, but dyeing the river green when it's already brown does not appeal to me at all because I'm afraid the color is not going to be green," City Commissioner MaryJane Gorney told The Bay City Times.

Mayor Charles M. Brunner said Meyer has not said what type of dye he would use, or where in the river it would be placed.

Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Robert McCann said the agency will carefully consider the request but said he had not yet seen the official proposal.

"Our main concern is whether it's going to have any impact on the quality of the water," McCann said.