Topics: Waterways

CHATHAM – When Ken Cirillo took over the Barnstable County dredge program as its director in August 2020, he was tasked with one major assignment: stabilize the program. It was a lofty task given the challenges the program had faced in recent years, most notably dealing with equipment issues that continuously plagued the county’s two dredges. “The goal this year was to stabilize and rebuild confidence,” Cir...

Harwich Channel Dredging Draws Interest For Excess Sand

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Cape Cod is a sand deposit, and for some shorefront property owners, sand is also a worthy investment, particularly in the age of climate change. That was evident when the town of Harwich opened bids this week for the purchase of sand to be recovered from two dredge projects. Within the week the county dredge will start removing sand from Allen Harbor channel, then on to Saquatucket Harbor channel, c...

ORLEANS — There was some confusion of terms last week as the Eastham and Orleans select boards talked over their arrangements regarding the proposed dredging of Nauset Estuary. Was the draft document memorializing those thoughts a memorandum of agreement or a memorandum of understanding? “Understanding” came a lot closer to capturing the situation. At the Eastham board’s May 3 meeting, its vice chair Aimee Eck...

ORLEANS — Like many, she stayed close to home the last few months. She picked up a lot of information about Deep Pond, and made sure to get as much sun as she could. Now she’s taking a break before moving to Pleasant Bay for the summer and fall. She (that’s how her creators refer to her) is PEARL, aka Platform for Expanding AUV exploRation to Longer ranges (“Auv” stands for autonomous underwater vehicles). C...

CHATHAM — Having learned that it would cost the same – or a bit less – than building a new structure, the select board voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse the use of the historic Coast Guard Stage Harbor boathouse to house a new upweller at 90 Bridge St. The town’s engineers estimated that it would cost about $4,740,500 to build a new building for the town’s shellfish propagation program, putting it on a new ...

CHATHAM — Th e plan was for the county dredge to move the sand from the Stage Harbor entrance channel to a feeder beach west of Cockle Cove, where it would slowly drift east, nourishing beaches along the way. But thanks to a looming deadline related to piping plovers, that plan is being modified a bit. Updating the select board last week, Health and Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson said the d...

ORLEANS — The conservation commission is ready to approve an alum treatment for impaired Uncle Harvey’s Pond. The board closed public comment Feb. 16 and scheduled a vote on an order of conditions for March 2. The treatment, recommended in a study by the UMass Dartmouth Coastal Systems Group that was seconded by the town’s marine and freshwater quality committee, would reduce available phosphorus in the pond...

ORLEANS — Sometimes, floating an idea means just that. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty member is testing an experimental solar-powered data buoy known as PEARL that's anchored in Deep Pond. Last month, Professor Olivier L. de Weck answered questions from the conservation commission about the device, which is a prototype of a larger version to be deployed in the ocean. The floating p...

Algae Blooms Impacting Harwich Ponds

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Over the past couple of years the number of algae blooms in local ponds seem to be on the rise. Skinequit Pond in South Harwich has experienced two blooms just in the past two weeks, and for the second year in a row the West Reservoir in West Harwich had the blue-green shade that is emblematic of cyanobacteria. The town had a decade-long battle with algae blooms and fish kills in Hinckley’s Pond befo...

ORLEANS — Steering a ship of skeptics and advocates of the town buying its own dredge, dredge advisory committee chairman Charlie Carlson kept an even keel Monday during discussion of a financial model prepared by Woods Hole Group. Members punched holes in the draft model and each other’s arguments in a process that will lead to a recommendation to the select board and, if it passes that hurdle, a future town ...

Conservation Commission To Examine Use Of Styrofoam On Docks

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Every day, Ann Frechette walks along the shore of John Josephs Pond and picks up a cup full of tiny foam beads. She told the conservation commission last week that Styrofoam is spewing into the pond every day from an old dock on a neighbor’s property and she is concerned about the impacts on wildlife and the environment. Frechette said when she purchased her property on the pond there was an old dock...

ORLEANS — Eastham and Orleans continue to struggle to find common ground on how to dredge the clogged-up Nauset Estuary. When it met July 23, the Nauset Estuary Dredging Stakeholder Group found agreement over the area to dredge but not the width of the new channel. “I was under the impression that we kind of sorted this out,” Eastham member and commercial fisherman Jonathan Granlund said, noting previous dis...

Fish Pier Observation Deck Opens

By: Tim Wood

Popular Tourist Attraction Finally Completed A Year Behind Schedule CHATHAM – The newly rebuilt observation deck at the fish pier is getting rave reviews for its solid construction and spaciousness. It better be; the $1.7 million project took 18 months to build, more than a year more than originally planned. “I thought it was awesome,” said Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. “It's just too bad it took so long.” B...

ORLEANS — The Nauset Estuary Stakeholder Group will meet via Zoom tonight (July 9) at 5 to hear some good news regarding the long-sought and oft-delayed effort to dredge the estuary and restore its utility for commercial and recreational boaters. The likely presence of red tide cysts in some of the material to be dredged presented concerns about their possible spread when the materials were relocated. A pilo...

CHATHAM — A new shellfish upweller building and multi-purpose waterfront facility on Bridge Street will almost certainly cost more than the town anticipated several years ago. But to get closer to knowing exactly how much more, selectmen last week voted to spend another $200,000 in engineering funds. While critics of the project say the town should be reining in spending given the pandemic, supporters say a st...

EAST HARWICH — While they’ll be taking steps to keep themselves healthy during the pandemic, a group of dedicated volunteers will be protecting the health of local waterways once again this summer. This week, a coalition of groups led by the Pleasant Bay Alliance held a training session for volunteers who will be sampling local waterways several times this summer to help paint a picture of water quality trends...