Topics: Environment

Middle Road Solar Array Wins Approval

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – An agreement between neighbors and a California-based renewable energy company on a buffer area has cleared the way for approval of a solar power array off Middle Road. The zoning board of appeals on Feb 27 approved a special permit for NextGrid's solar facility on the 15-acre sandpit owned by J.W. Dubis and Sons. The facility could be generating power by summer. Property owners along West Pond Ro...

St. Christopher's To Go Solar

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Honoring a commitment to be good stewards of the earth, St. Christopher's Episcopal Church will be installing solar panels on the roof of its parish hall. The historic business district commission last week unanimously approved the 86-panel, roof-mount solar array, which will be placed on the southeast-facing roof of the hall, adjacent to the Gallery building property, and will be visible from Main S...

Chatham Earns 'Green Community' Designation From State

By: Staff Reports

CHATHAM – The town has been designated a Green Community by the state department of energy resources, making it eligible for grant money to pursue energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Town staff are currently assembling a grant proposal specifying how the $134,620 award will be used. The focus will be on high-priority building projects identified as part of the Green Community Program's energy redu...

There is a lot that we do not know when it comes to plastics and their impact on the environment, animals and humans. There is much that still needs to be learned before we can determine what needs to be done to better manage or eliminate this valuable modern resource. Far more scientific data must be collected, and research completed if we are to have a better understanding of plastics, micro-plastics, and nano-...

CHATHAM – Residents who live near a proposed solar array on Middle Road are concerned about the impact of the facility on their quiet neighborhood, and recently asked the planning board for more time to study the plans before issuing site plan approval. The board concurred, noting that members had quite a few questions about details of the project. “It's very clear we need a lot more information,” said Chai...

New Osprey Nesting Platform Provides Waterfront Accommodations

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

SOUTH HARWICH — Some high-profile seasonal visitors to town will enjoy new waterfront accommodations next spring, thanks to the Harwich Conservation Trust and AmeriCorps Cape Cod. Last Thursday, volunteers erected a new osprey nesting platform on conservation land in the salt marsh behind Red River Beach. Funded by a donor to the Trust, the platform was assembled in the beach parking lot, carried across the ma...

Solar Array Proposed For Middle Road Sand Pit

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – In the late 1960s and early '70s, the sand pit off Middle Road was the scene of dune buggy races every Sunday. Crowds came to cheer as local drivers races around the dirt track in custom-built vehicles that made up in power what they lacked in beauty. The sand pit may be generating a different kind of power if a plan to develop solar photovoltaic array on the property wins approval. NextGrid, a na...

CHATHAM – A sign posted at the front desk of the Chatham Agway store reassures customers that the ducks that live on the pond in front of the Main Street garden center aren't being harmed during restoration work on the small body of water. People still ask about the ducks, store employees say, but in fact, although they remain on site during the work, it's had little impact on them. When heavy equipment is ope...

Shark Analysis Finds No Simple Solution

By: Kat Szmit

EASTHAM – The results of a 100-page shark mitigation study were released to the public last week and among all the compiled data there was one clear message: There is no solution available that can guarantee the safety of beachgoers determined to venture into the water during peak shark season. The report, and its primary message, was the subject of a public forum held Oct. 16 at Nauset Regional High School, duri...

If pleas from our children, warnings from the UN, and daily evidence of increasing weather disruptions don't convince us of climate change, how about a musical? That's what inspired Cape Cod playwright Maureen Condon to write "Crude—the Climate Change Musical," which has its world premiere Thursday, Oct. 10 at the Cape Cod Theatre Company, home of the Harwich Junior Theater. With a background in science wri...

Blue Institute Sponsors Two Water-focused Events In Harwich

By: Elizabeth Van Wye

If there's one subject Cape Codders can relate to, it's water. Our lives cycle in and around local rivers, ponds, bays and sounds. How we connect to water is a subject as varied as the people. Next weekend the Blue Institute of Cape Cod will host two programs in Harwich that illuminate our connection to water. The first, on Friday evening Oct. 18, showcases the winners of the recent "Words on Water" writing co...

CHATHAM — Over centuries, rising sea levels threaten to simply wipe parts of Chatham off the map. But long before that happens, town officials are hoping that some of the world’s great scientific minds will put the town on the map as a global center for climate change research. For the past six months, a working group has been quietly meeting to discuss a broad strategy to attract the interest of an academic i...

Officials: No Additional Cleanup Needed After PCB Spill

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Soil sampling around Homestead Lane shows no detectable levels of cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, following the failure of an electrical transformer during the July 23 severe storm. The spill prompted town officials to prohibit shellfishing and swimming in Little Mill Pond, Mill Pond and part of the Mitchell River immediately after the storm. First responders noticed a sheen on the...

Taking A Shine To Solar Power, At Home And Work

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — David Currier is in the midst of having solar panels installed on the roofs of his business and his home. “Electric rates aren't going down,” the owner of Orleans Bowling Center said last week. “Those big companies don't like making less money.” Currier, who's also a selectman, is working with BlueSel Solar to realize his dream of generating his own power. He grew up with one of the company's sa...

HARWICH PORT — It took first responders many hours to control the public safety threat after a tanker truck flipped over and spilled gasoline on Sisson Road last month. But it will take cleanup crews much longer to try and reverse the environmental damage caused by the accident. A New Hampshire environmental engineering firm has completed an immediate response action plan following the July 18 spill, outlini...

HARWICH — A blue-green algae bloom turned the waters of the West Reservoir in the Bell’s Neck Conservation Area bright green Monday. Town officials warned people not to swim or allow dogs to swim or drink water from the reservoir. “The whole West Reservoir is a murky blue-green,” Conservation Administrator Amy Usowski said after posting three warning notices along the shoreline where people might come in conta...