Topics: Erosion

CHATHAM – After the state refused to allow them to build a revetment to protect their $3.9 million home, a Shore Road couple is proposing an innovative shoreline stabilization project that could serve as a state-wide model. Lisa and James McGonigle are seeking permission from the conservation commission to install a “living shoreline” at the base of the coastal bank at 498 Shore Rd. The project involves the cr...

CHATHAM — With sand choking the main inlet to Chatham Harbor across from the lighthouse, most of the commercial fishing fleet is now using the north inlet by Minister's Point to access the Atlantic. But the narrow channel there needs to be widened, and fishermen are hoping that state and federal dredging restrictions don’t leave them high and dry for the 2018 season. Except at peak high tide, the Chatham Bar...

CHATHAM – After the 1987 break in North Beach, a long-range plan was developed in response to what was expected to be continued erosion south of Lighthouse Beach. But conditions changed – South Beach connected to the mainland and provided protection for the inner shoreline – and the plan was never fully implemented. That's just one reason no one was prepared for the devastating effect this past winter's four n...

CHATHAM – Boaters anticipating accessing waters along the town's eastern coast by the usual routes this summer may have to change their expectations. “Delete last year's GPS” settings, Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon recommended. Even though they haven't had a chance to explore inlets, navigation channels and popular boating spots in detail because of the weather, officials say that the storms that play...

Winter Storms Reshape Chatham's Coast

By: Tim Wood

Erosion Threatens Refuge's Morris Island HQ CHATHAM – It was a year ago Sunday that an early spring northeast storm punched a hole in South Beach, about a quarter mile south of Lighthouse Beach, creating a new inlet in the barrier beach that runs along the town's eastern shoreline. After a series of winter storms, that barrier beach looks more like Swiss cheese than a solid line of dunes. The April Fool'...

Where is Nauset Beach's Next Meal Coming From?

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — The day after the Nauset Beach clam shack was demolished, town officials planned to talk about an alternative food service plan for this summer. The March 21 session was to be held after the newspaper's deadline, but documents in the selectmen's (meeting as park commissioners) packet indicated interest in a Mobile Kitchen Unit like those used by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protec...

ORLEANS — “Don't change the onion rings recipe.” That's what Liam's at Nauset Beach owner John Ohman heard when he took over Philbrick's snack shack there almost three decades ago. But, as Ohman realizes more than most, there's no stopping change when an ocean and a shoreline meet. On Monday at 5 p.m., selectmen and other town officials will talk about whether to tear down Liam's in the wake of the weekend's...

Selectmen: Long Term Erosion Solution Needed

By: Tim Wood

Board Supports Beach Nourishment, Balloon Ban, Library Upgrade Town Meeting Articles CHATHAM – Fighting erosion along the town's Nantucket Sound shoreline is worth sinking $450,000 worth of sand into, but selectmen said Tuesday they'd like to find a more permanent solution to the problem. “This is going to be an ongoing cost to the town of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. “W...

CHATHAM – Twice since January, flooding from heavy rains and tidal surges have made roads in the Little Beach area impassable. As South Beach rapidly deteriorates, eliminating protection from the open ocean the area has enjoyed for decades, the scenario is likely to be repeated fairly frequently, say officials. “This is probably the new norm,” said Director of Health and Natural Resources Robert Duncanson. ...

When the weather cleared on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1978, local residents emerged from their homes to find that the area's shoreline had been significantly rearranged – in some cases more or less permanently. While the Blizzard of '78 paralyzed many areas of Southern New England with several feet of snow, trapping people in vehicles and ultimately accounting for 54 deaths in Massachusetts alone, the snow wasn't the n...

CHATHAM – As expected, the break in South Beach created on April 1 has been a boon to boaters this summer. Boat traffic in the area has increased considerably now that there's a more or less direct route from Nantucket Sound to the Atlantic. But that route isn't without its problems. To get to the ocean from Nantucket Sound, boaters must first pass between Morris and Monomoy islands. According to Harbormast...

CHATHAM – For the second time in less than three years, a group of residents has formally appealed the conservation commission's approval of a revetment along the town's eastern shoreline. Ten residents, including former conservation commission members and the town's former conservation agent, objected to the approval of a 40-foot rock wall at 602 Old Harbor Rd., an extension of a previously approved 140-foot ...

Using towns on the Lower Cape as a model, a bill filed by Congressman William Keating aims to help other communities save money when taking part in federal flood mitigation programs. The legislation, H.R. 3135, would provide resources so towns with flood-prone neighborhoods can create regional partnerships to share the cost of participating in the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System (CRS...

CHATHAM – Cockle Cove Beach has been in rough shape for some time. It's been almost two years since a significant amount of sand has been brought in to build up the eroding beach, and officials are worried that its condition could deteriorate further before a planned fall or winter dredging project at nearby Mill Creek can provide an additional buffer between Nantucket Sound and the beach parking lot. Last wee...

CHATHAM – An overflow, standing room only crowd turned out on Saturday morning at the community center to heard what the future holds for the town's changing shoreline. Sponsored by the Chatham Alliance for Preservation and Conservation, a panel of four local coastal experts examined the subtle and often dramatic changes to Chatham’s dynamic 60 miles of shoreline. Chatham is on the leading edge of dram...

Officials Warn Boaters Of More Shifting Sands

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Thanks to the whims of Chatham's shifting sands, boaters can now quickly travel between Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic for the first time in more than 25 years. But particularly for people in smaller boats, exploring the east side waters means taking extra safety precautions. Chatham Harbormaster Stuart Smith and other experts spoke to a large crowd of recreational boaters Saturday, updating them...