Topics: Waterways

Health Officials: Go On In, The Water’s Fine

By: Debra Lawless

Good news: The fresh and salt waters of Harwich, Chatham and Orleans have remained clean and safe for swimmers all summer, according to health agents in the three towns. “So far there have been no exceedances or failures of our beaches,” says Harwich Health Director Meggan Eldredge. “There are no complaints. Honestly, I don’t know of any last year, either.” One minor issue in 2017 was that Red River Beach had ...

CHATHAM – In its first year, the town's waterways user permit seemed to find its way onto most vessels in town, although revenue was slightly below projections. Waterways officials had projected the fee would generate up to $175,000 annually. In 2017, the permit brought in $170,225, according to Finance Director Alix Heilala. Part of that shortfall may be because of delays in billing and loss of moorings in...

Harwich Harbors Shaping Up For Boating Season

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The county dredge Codfish was scheduled to moved into the Allen Harbor channel this week to remove 8,000 cubic yards of sand. Harbormaster John Rendon said the sand will be used as nourishment for nearby public beaches. The Codfish just finished dredging the Saquatucket Harbor channel where material was placed on both public and private beaches in the area. The town received several bids from shorefr...

Eroded Barrier Beach Fills Channels, Irks Boaters

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The power’s back on, the downed trees are all removed, but boaters are still feeling the effects of the series of storms that savaged the shoreline this winter. Fueled by severe erosion on the outer beach, shoaling has threatened a number of key waterways, including the Morris Island Cut, which last year provided easy passage from Nantucket Sound to Chatham Harbor and the Atlantic. For now, that me...

HARWICH — An unfamiliar gong was penetrating the fog along Red River Beach last week. It was a sound familiar to mariners looking for the Chatham Roads Bell Buoy 3, the aid to navigation was close to 1.6 nautical miles off-station. The bell buoy was pulled from its station by ice in Nantucket Sound in January and the Coast Guard has made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to reset it. With the boating season un...

An interesting description of the salt lakes of Australia is given by a writer in the Sydney Empire, who... says... “Mounds of earth... can be seen for miles. The water is clear and soft. It is impregnated with magnesia, soda and alum. It is very palatable to drink, and I think very wholesome...” The Chatham Monitor, Oct. 25, 1871 Alum treatments, which have been used to improve pond health on Cape Cod by...

Harbor Update For Mariners Saturday

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – It was a wild winter for the town's waterways, and boaters will definitely need to assess conditions before heading out this summer. To update local mariners on current navigation conditions, the Monomoy Yacht Club will host its annual harbor update session this Saturday, June 9, at 10 a.m. at the community center. Four nor'easters between January and March rearranged shoals in Chatham Harbor, the...

CHATHAM — With modest improvements at the boat ramp and a small park on the adjacent Marconi triangle, the latest $1.6 million plan for the Ryder’s Cove town landing has won preliminary approval from selectmen. Unlike previous plans, which called for a new parking lot with an entry from Route 28 and other amenities, the current proposal focuses on repairing the deteriorating bulkhead, installing new floats, ...

CHATHAM – Toxic algae has closed several freshwater ponds on Cape Cod in recent years, including Harwich's Hinckley's Pond in 2009. So far Chatham's ponds have not been impacted, and a new testing program aims at providing a warning if that changes. Volunteers are being sought to help collect water quality samples from five ponds this summer. Testing for cyanobacteria – the organism that causes the blue-green ...

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 – After nearly two years of work, consolidated waterways regulations were approved last week by the waterways advisory committee. The final draft will now go back to the board of selectmen before being adopted by the harbormaster. A theme that emerged from the committee's hearing on the draft last Thursday was the need to take a look at the waterways bylaw, the override authority under which the new re...

CHATHAM — Residents will have one more opportunity this week to sound out on the new consolidated waterways regulations before they are finalized and presented to selectmen. A sparsely attended public hearing on March 22 was continued to Thursday, April 26 at 5 p.m. at the community center. After that session, officials will finalize the 54-page document before presenting it to selectmen. The draft reg...

Herring River Fish House Getting Needed Attention

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — The fish house that sits in the Herring River will be getting a facelift. No appeal was filed of a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection decision upholding DEP and the conservation commission orders of conditions that allow the reconstruction of the structure. The project has been mired in appeals for nearly two-and-a-half years. Abutters Gwynne and David Daks initially seeking a ...

ORLEANS — Things look good on paper. There are 28 town landings, 28 opportunities to get your boat or kayak into the water. But “the major impact on every one is adequate parking,” Town Administrator John Kelly told the board of selectmen, meeting as park commissioners, last week. “The number one issue is, we don't have enough parking, regardless of use.” Except for restrictions during striped bass season...

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...

Town Meeting To Decide Snack Shack Funding

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Town meeting will be asked to authorize spending of the $1 million Seaport Economic Council grant awarded to the town for the landside construction project at Saquatucket Harbor, in addition to the $3 million originally approved, allowing inclusion of a snack shack in the project. If the grant funds are approved by town meeting voters, Town Administrator Christopher Clark said that will “give the gre...