Topics: Conservation

Harwich Commission Approves Experimental Bay Scallop Project

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The sugar kelp farm that Mark Kelleher has been operating off the Herring River in Nantucket Sound will be expanded this year with the addition of juvenile bay scallops. Kelleher received approval from the conservation commission last week to experiment with growing bay scallops as part of the kelp farm the commission approve in 2018. Kelle h er told the commission he was somewhat disappointed w...

Remediation Work Winding Down At Handler Auto Parts Site

By: William F. Galvin

Still No Plans For Future Development  HARWICH — The land remediation work on the 3.14-acre Handler Auto Parts site along Route 28 in Harwich Port is nearing completion, but there remains no plan for the redevelopment of the land, which commands sweeping views of Allen Harbor and its marsh. Jeff Handler said this week no decisions have been made on future plans for development of the property, which is zone...

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...

Starting in late July, the breeding shorebirds of the treeless Arctic tundra begin streaming south, fanning out across North America. The wading birds characterized as shorebirds are a diverse group of species in the order Charadriiformes, and hundreds of thousands of these birds migrate along Cape Cod’s coastlines every summer through the Atlantic Flyway. For many of these birds, the Cape is a vital stopover ...

Harwich Conservation Trust Tracks The Secretive Box Turtle

By: Susanna Graham-Pye

Tracking turtles isn’t as easy as one might think, but Michael Musnick, a passionate amateur herpetologist, is doing his best.  Holding an antenna and receiver, Musnick sets off down one of the grassy trails leading from the parking lot of Harwich Conservation Trust’s (HCT) Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve.  On the preserve’s 66 acres, somewhere, hides a female Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). Wa...

Sipson Island Opens To Public Saturday

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

ORLEANS – For the first time since it was sold by a Monomoyick leader to English colonists in 1711, Sipson Island in Pleasant Bay will officially open for public access on Saturday, July 25. The Sipson Island Trust (SIT) purchased most of the island for conservation in June, culminating a major fundraising campaign led by the Friends of Pleasant Bay and the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts. Mark Robi...

HARWICH – It is a project more than 10 years and considerable effort in the making, and on June 25 the excitement among the small gathering of supporters and nature enthusiasts was palpable as the Harwich Conservation Trust’s Muddy Creek Headwaters Preserve was officially opened as a new and evolving trail. Located at 33 Church St., the property originally belonged to the Marini family, as Don Marini explained...

Rare Sandhill Crane Visits Harwich Port

By: Tyler Maikath

HARWICH PORT — One morning last week, Nan Poor, a trustee of the Harwich Conservation Trust, looked out her window into her yard, where she has several bird feeding stations. Among the visitors to her yard, which is next to the HCT Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve’s wetlands and walking paths, there are often mourning doves eating seed on the ground or blue jays bouncing about. This particular morning, thou...

Commission Wants More Policing Of Conservation Lands

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Remote sections of the town often draw unwanted activities, and conservation lands seem to take the brunt of such spoils. That seems to be the case on land just north of Robbins Pond in North Harwich. The conservation commission is calling for enhanced enforcement in the 16-plus-acre area, including a former cranberry bog and other parcels nearby. Trash has been dumped in the area, dirt bikes roam fr...

HCT Gets Major Donations For Herring River Land Purchase

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Fundraising to preserve open space always takes a winding trail of commitments from the community. Perhaps no group has walked that trail more than the Harwich Conservation Trust, which is looking for more of those commitments to purchase a 6.65-acre parcel that will complete a 70-acre conservation puzzle along the Herring River corridor. HCT Executive Director Michael Lach said the path to the purch...

ORLEANS — When is a closing an opening? When it’s a purchase that will ensure public access to Sipson Island, which has been privately held since 1711. On Monday, the Sipson Island Trust and its partner, the Nadler family, closed on the purchase of the Pleasant Bay gem from the Dietrich family trusts. The Trust now owns six lots and will acquire two more from the Nadlers when an additional $585,000 is raised, ...

CHATHAM – Twenty years ago, 23 larvae of the federally threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle were taken from a beach on Martha's Vineyard, the last known population in New England, and released on South Monomoy Island. Subsequent transplanting of tiger beetle larvae from the Vineyard to Monomoy took place annually through 2004. To say that the tiger beetles took to Monomoy would be an understatement. The ...

CHATHAM — For Don St. Pierre, who turns 80 in August, digging ditches, climbing hills and bushwhacking through the puckerbrush isn't as easy as it used to be. He's stepping down as the town's herring warden after more than half a century of watching over the fish runs and their seasonal visitors. A Harwich native, St. Pierre started working on herring runs when he was a member of the sportfishing club Cape Cod...

CHATHAM — Volunteers and staff of the Chatham Conservation Foundation have seen plenty of nature in their visits to the conservation lands they protect. But when it comes to wildlife, most of the action happens at night or when nobody’s around. The Chatham Conservation Foundation’s (from left) Julie Baca, Dorothy Bassett and Antonia Porcari ex...

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...

Harwich Earns Community Wildlife Habitat Certification

By: Alan Pollock

Effort Led By Garden Club Of Harwich HARWICH — There’s plenty of desirable real estate in Harwich, even for wildlife. The town has been officially designated as a Community Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, making it the first on the Cape and only the second in Massachusetts to earn that recognition. The designation acknowledges that the town and its people have created multiple habitat ...