Topics: Erosion

Health Board Reopens Small Beach To Swimming

By: Alan Pollock

Andrew Harding’s Lane Beach Safer After Inlet Shifts CHATHAM — Though the move is largely symbolic, the board of health this week voted to lift a ban on swimming at the end of Andrew Harding’s Lane in the Old Village. The ban had been in place so long that current members of the health board didn’t seem to know it was in effect. “It’s not as treacherous as it was when the board of health originally banned...

Your Property Might Flood In A Storm

By: Alan Pollock

Even If FEMA Maps Say It Won’t Time was, if you wanted to know which parts of town flooded during major hurricanes, you’d ask old timers. Then FEMA developed maps showing flood zones down to the property level. But both methods have a major shortcoming: they rely on past events to predict the future. The problem is, the environment is changing quickly, and some of the baseline assumptions used in convention...

CHATHAM — If you’re wondering about the validity of sea level rise, visit Jackknife Harbor Beach. An unofficial sign erected there warns visitors that the sandy parking area floods at extreme tides, but somebody has scratched off the “extreme” and written “every.” With erosion threatening the beach’s access road, the Pleasant Bay Alliance and the town are working on solutions that preserve public access whil...

Rising Water Spells Big Challenges For Little Beach

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — During a recent coastal storm, Chatham fire officials stopped in the Little Beach neighborhood to monitor the rising water at high tide. A bystander asked what they were doing, and when they explained, the man looked puzzled; he had just bought a home nearby. “It was a steal,” he said, pointing out the property with a smile. But do the flood waters ever reach his place? With a little discomfort, Chie...

First of two parts CHATHAM – Two years ago, the Little Beach area experienced the worst flooding it had seen in 30 years, maybe longer. Sandbag walls were breached, houses were inundated, and boats plied the submerged streets rescuing residents. With warnings that climate change and sea level rise will only make conditions worse, property owners are already throwing up sandbags to stanch the flooding that...

CHATHAM — When it comes to controlling shorefront erosion and maintaining navigation, Chatham Harbor poses some problems. The solution, or at least part of it, might be found on Tern Island. On Wednesday, the state announced that Chatham has received more than $50,000 from the office of Coastal Zone Management to support a study of the island. Officials want to know whether adding sand to the island from nea...

CHATHAM — The shifting sands off Chatham will cause North Beach Island to fold in toward the mainland by the year 2045, experts predict. That will mean more sand to protect parts of the shoreline from waves and storm surges, but more trouble for boats trying to navigate in and out of Aunt Lydia's Cove. In a recent public forum, John Ramsey of Applied Coastal Research and Engineering presented the predictions...

Nauset Beach Closes To Vehicles Friday

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

Nauset Beach from the parking lot south will be closed to vehicles beginning Friday, May 31 at noon due to unfledged piping plover chicks in the vicinity of the ORV corridor. The town's natural resources staff announced the closure Wednesday afternoon, saying they will continue to monitor the situation daily and open the trails as soon as possible under a state permit that allows vehicle access with escorts on...

Town Officially Served With Suit Over Dredging

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The conservation commission has officially been served with a suit by a Minister’s Point property owner alleging that it wrongly permitted future dredging in an area that provides the only deep-water access to Chatham Harbor. The area in question, just inside the North Inlet, was approved for emergency dredging last year, but the dredging was not carried out because of deteriorating weather. Filed ...

CHATHAM — For vessels over a certain draft, getting in and out of Chatham Harbor is now impossible except during the most favorable tides. While smaller boats can still pass freely, commercial fishing vessels and even Coast Guard rescue boats are increasingly unable to leave the harbor. Experts say the south inlet opposite Outermost Harbor is predominantly feeding Nantucket Sound through the so-called Foo...

ConsCom Approves Red River Revetment Extension

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — The conservation commission agrees that repairing and slightly enlarging a revetment is the best way to stem erosion at the east end of Red River Beach. Provided that state regulators agree, the town will move ahead with the work as soon as possible. After a short discussion last Wednesday, the commission voted to grant a notice of intent to the town to extend the landward side of the jetty by abou...

EAST HARWICH — By the end of the century, tide levels in Pleasant Bay could increase up to three feet because of sea level rise, meaning that places that were once high and dry could be subject to erosion. That’s a key reason the Pleasant Bay Alliance has been working to formulate a set of best practices that towns and individual property owners can use to manage erosion, without overly disrupting the natural f...

Preliminary Results Of Inlet Modeling Study To Be Presented

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – Preliminary results of a hydrodynamic modeling study of the town's eastern inlets and waterways will be present at the end of the month. Part of a $250,000, wide-ranging study of the waterways from Pleasant Bay to Nantucket Sound, the presentation will happen at 7 p.m. at Feb. 28 at the annex. Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon said the focus of the update to be presented by Applied Coastal Resea...

Minister’s Point resident Gerald Milden has filed suit in Barnstable Superior Court against the town of Chatham and its conservation commission, claiming it wrongly permitted a potential future dredging project near the North Inlet, where it had issued an emergency permit last year. The suit comes despite the fact that the project was never carried out, and town officials have not yet decided whether to dredge...

CHATHAM – Dredging of the entrance channel to Outermost Harbor Marine wound up this week, and whether the navigation channel remains clear will depend in large part on this winter's weather. The Little Beach marine purchased its own small dredge to clear the sand, which drifts southward from Lighthouse Beach and North Beach Island. The marina has a maintenance permit to keep the channel open, said owner Farrel...