Topics: Waterways

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 ...

ORLEANS — The town's dredge advisory committee reviewed dredging and disposal options for opening up Nauset Estuary April 8, but members started off focusing on what to expect in the way of support from neighboring Eastham. The takeaway from the March 25 meeting of the two towns' boards, committee chairman Bill Amaru told his colleagues, “is that the town of Eastham is partly in and mostly out until they hav...

Selectmen Like Scaled-back Plan For 90 Bridge St.

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Selectmen are advancing a plan to build a new shellfish upweller, floating docks and a public rest room on the small town-owned parcel at 90 Bridge St., next to the Mitchell River drawbridge. The conceptual plan they reviewed Monday evening would cost about $3.44 million to build, less than the $4.17 million projected for an earlier, more ambitious plan. Consulting engineer David Anderson of Stante...

CHATHAM – With shoaling creating difficulty in accessing the inlets in Chatham Harbor, the Coast Guard is looking for an alternative location for its rescue vessels that will provide greater flexibility. The agency has suggested creating docking space at the town-owned Old Mill Boatyard on Stage Harbor for its two 42-foot lifeboats. Currently, two of the vessels are docked at the municipal fish pier in Aunt Ly...

EASTHAM — Before the scooping, there must be scoping. The selectmen of Eastham and Orleans agreed March 25 that two potential plans for dredging Nauset Estuary have merit. One would dredge the system from Town Cove through the main channel and behind the barrier beach to Nauset Inlet with spurs to the Priscilla and Hemenway landings; the other would not include the spurs. “The (first) provides the most us...

Desperate Mariners Seek Answers

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM  —  With fishing boats and Coast Guard surfboats now frequently bottled up in Chatham Harbor because of severe shoaling – and with peak commercial fishing season less than three months away – mariners are demanding answers. Town officials have very few. “June is coming very close for us,” commercial fisherman and Aunt Lydia’s Cove Committee Chairman Doug Feeney told selectmen Monday. “We’re in need rig...

CHATHAM – Selectmen last week declined to support proposed federal legislation to declare Nantucket Sound a National Historic Landmark. Chatham is the only Cape town bordering Nantucket Sound that has declined to endorse the legislation, which is being promoted by the Alliance To Protect Nantucket Sound. Some 50 towns, municipal agencies and nonprofit organizations signed on to a letter to Senators Edward Mark...

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...

ORLEANS — The “air” B&B over Cedar Pond enjoyed by roosting cormorants for decades is no more. “As of yesterday, I witnessed that all wires, including the communication wire, are now down from spanning Cedar Pond,” Conservation Agent John Jannell told the conservation commission Tuesday. Some members applauded, with Judith Bruce asking that town counsel “convey our thanks” to Eversource. It was a high...

ORLEANS — It's been a long haul to get dredging Nauset Estuary on the public's radar, but now that the signal is strong some eager proponents are urging patience. “I ask that people in this room open their hearts and their minds to the obvious challenges that are going to be ahead of us, to not lose patience with the amount of time it will take for the permit process,” fisherman and dredging advisory committ...

CHATHAM – A short “listening session” last week kicked off the town's effort to square its waterways bylaws and regulations with state and federal rules. In a meeting that lasted less than half an hour, a handful of speakers raised several questions and made comments about the town's regulations, mostly focused on the contentious issue of moorings. Waterways officials and the town's waterways advisory commi...

Fish Pier Deck Upgrade Gets Final Approval

By: Tim Wood

$1.6 Million Project To Be Completed By Summer CHATHAM – Town officials were scheduled to meet earlier this week with engineers and the contractor hired to build a new observation deck at the fish pier, following final approval of the project by the zoning board of appeals last week. The board unanimously approved the $1.6 million project, which will result in a more larger, more stable deck that meets acce...

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...

Harwich Kelp Farmer Provides Insight Into New Industry

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — Mark Kelleher has been drawn to the waters in and around the Herring River for many years. He's worked in fishing and shellfishing, and now has a new venture, a kelp farm a mile offshore, which is taking advantage of the nutrients flowing from the river into Nantucket Sound. The kelp farm is a first for Harwich. Kelleher admits it is an experiment for him. The part-time teacher, shellfisherman a...

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...

Regulators Question Plans To Dredge Nauset Estuary

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS – Town officials, a commercial fisherman and the owner of the Goose Hummock Shop traveled to Lakeville Jan. 11 to draw attention to the need for prompt action to dredge Nauset Estuary. A panel of state and federal regulators, some present by phone, listened attentively and asked thoughtful questions but offered little encouragement for relief anytime soon. “This is an area where dredging hasn't been ...