Topics: Beaches

CHATHAM — When it comes to safely managing the town’s bathing beaches this summer, officials are weighing more than just the public health implications of COVID-19. They have to consider a key source of town revenue and a major driver for the town’s economy. “The number one thing that everybody wants when they come here is the beaches,” said parks and recreation commissioner Kimberly Robbins, who also operates...

Selectmen Give Nod To 2020 Beach Opening Plan

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Recreation Department Director Eric Beeb presented the board of selectmen with a 2020 beach season opening plan that limits some beach parking and reduces the sale of one-day beach passes to two beaches. The board approved the plan by consensus last week. Interim Town Administrator Joseph Powers said the plan takes in the town’s obligation under Gov. Charlie Baker’s first phase of reopening Massachus...

ORLEANS — The global pandemic wants a reservation for every other parking space at Nauset and Skaket beaches. Town officials have recommended to the park commissioners that, effective immediately, the beach lots “will be closed once at 50 percent capacity or less based on beachfront availability and discretion of the Natural Resources Manager,” according to an April 30 memo from Town Administrator John Kelly, ...

Conservation Commission Sued Over Wychmere Dock Project

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The conservation commission has been sued by property owners along Wychmere Harbor for denial of a request to relocate, reconstruct and maintain an existing set of beach access steps and decks and construct a new dock, ramp and float system at 30 Harbor Rd. The suit was filed by attorney Glenn A. Wood of Rubin and Rudman, LLP of Boston on behalf of Alfred and Carol Novak who, through their agent Shor...

CHATHAM – Before portable toilets were placed along the sidewalk at the Lighthouse Beach Overlook, the most difficult part of David Eldredge's job as manager of the adjacent Chatham Beach and Tennis Club was the “constant stream of people” asking to use the restrooms at the private club. With three portable toilets in place at the overlook from spring until late November, he still gets the requests, sometimes ...

CHATHAM – Members of the park and recreation commission are interested in expanding opportunities for dog owners to walk their pets on town beaches during the summer season, but state and federal regulations designed to safeguard nesting shorebirds could be an impediment. Currently, dogs are not allowed on town beaches from May 1 to Sept. 15, with the exception of Jackknife Harbor Beach, where dogs can be walk...

BREWSTER – When it comes to living with white sharks, there are many options: stay out of the water, move inland, or, if you're Greg Skomal, a marine biologist with the state Division of Marine Fisheries, you do all that you can to learn as much as you can about the creatures, and ideally save a life or two in the process. Skomal has been doing just that—studying everything possible about white sharks—for more...

Vandals Target Harwich Beaches

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Vandalism at parks and beaches is nothing new, but this year’s activity is worse than the occasional upturned bench or overturned trash can. “I’ve been here for 14 years, and I’ve never seen it as bad as this,” Harwich Recreation Director Eric Beebe said. Late at night on Aug. 12, vandals struck the bathhouse at Bank Street Beach, plugging sinks, ripping a urinal from the wall and apparently try...

CHATHAM – After a summer of keeping a watchful eye on beachgoers from Bourne to Provincetown, the Cape's lifeguards had the opportunity to show off their skills in the 45 th Cape Cod Lifesaving Competition, held Aug. 2 at Harding's Beach. Guards from each team set out in the Iron Woman contest, one of the first events of the 45 th Lifesaving Compe...

CHATHAM – Shark warning signs have been installed at all town beaches and many town landings, and lifeguards are keeping a sharp eye out for seals near designated swimming areas. As of late last week, lifeguards had observed three seals in Oyster Pond this summer, although none were within 300 feet of the swimming beach. Because the seals did not come close to the designated swimming area, the beach was not cl...

ORLEANS — The town had hoped to use part of the former Nauset Knoll Motel property above Nauset Beach for parking during its planned retreat from the town lot below due to erosion. This summer season has indeed seen parking at the site, but very much not the way the town wanted. The new lease holders for what is now the Nauset Beach Inn have put up signage inviting beach goers to take a right just before the t...

CHATHAM – The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy was created with public safety, research, and education in mind, and this summer the nonprofit is taking the public safety piece to heart with its new Shark Smart Beach Program at Lighthouse Beach. Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 9 and 10 a.m., folks from the AWSC will be offering informational talks on sharks and shark safety. “We want to increase t...

SOUTH HARWICH — If he had one wish, 11-year-old Sawyer Nicholson of East Harwich wouldn’t go back in time and erase the accident that left him with severe burns on his feet. His real wish is that you listen to his story and avoid the pain he had to endure. Sawyer was 10 last September when he and his family gathered at the end of Red River Beach to celebrate his grandfather’s 85 th birthday. It was a grand ...

CHATHAM – When visitors stop by Lighthouse Beach, they often ask anyone who looks like a local about what, for the past several years, has been the chief topic of interest here: great white sharks. Making sure folks get accurate information about the region's shark population is the impetus behind a new program being proposed by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC). Under the “Shark Smart” program, AWSC...

Will Residents Pay To Play At Nauset Beach?

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS – If the town's beaches can be considered among the best things in life, then for residents the best things in life are free. That won't be the case if a proposed new resident beach parking sticker fee makes it to town meeting and is approved. Of course, taxpayers support the beaches financially in other ways already, but a resident sticker fee has always been a step too far. Last week, the selectme...

Harwich Considers Public Smoking Ban

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The recreation and youth commission is considering banning smoking on public beaches as well as all parks and recreational facilities in town. Before making a decision, however, the commission will get together with the board of health to determine if a wider ban would be better implemented under that board's jurisdiction. Recreation Director Eric Beebe told the commission last week that a lot of ...