Topics: Environment

CHATHAM — It might seem like climate change is an unstoppable juggernaut that can only be slowed by international treaties and sweeping reforms . But actions we take in our own houses, businesses, town halls and back yards can make a worthwhile change as well. That was the message from a panel of local experts in a forum on climate resilience Saturday. Janet Williams of the Chatham Climate Action Network ...

HARWICH — When it comes to activities with a huge carbon footprint, commercial air travel has to be near the top of the list. But thanks to the vision of Harwich’s Dan Wolf and his brother Jim, green air travel could soon be coming to the region. Their company, Cape Air, is making aviation history by purchasing a nine-passenger all-electric plane. The Wolf brothers spoke at a virtual forum held recently by t...

ORLEANS — “Pick up after yourself” is the command many of us heard in childhood. Some took it so seriously that they pick up after everyone else. The most many of us do when we see a can by the side of the road, if we even notice it, is to curse the miscreant who tossed it there. Others assume responsibility for fixing the problem. April and Earth Day bring a lot of the latter together for targeted clean-...

CHATHAM — One of the things Christie Beckley likes best about her hometown is, of course, its beaches. But with the effects of climate change already becoming clear, the Monomoy Regional High School sophomore wants Chatham to take steps to preserve those beaches in the face of sea level rise and erosion. She recently outlined her plan for the parks and recreation commission. “It’s so important that our beaches...

Selectmen Seek Dialogue And Data On Nips

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Treading lightly over what they admit is a complicated issue, selectmen Tuesday opened a dialogue about the proliferation of single-serve “nip” bottles of alcohol. The 15-milliliter bottles litter area roadways, and the problem has led other towns – including Harwich – to consider banning their sale. Nip bans are already in place on the Upper Cape, Selectman Jeffrey Dykens noted. When he walks Route ...

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...

Cleanup Of Handler Property To Begin

By: William F. Galvin

New Owners Mum On Future Plans HARWICH — A major site remediation plan is being planned for the former Handler’s Auto Parts property along Route 28 in Harwich Port as the new owners begin to redevelop the two-acre site located above the inner Allen Harbor marsh. Future plans for the site are still not clear, but a thorough site remediation for contaminated soils and remediation of disturbed areas was presen...

HARWICH — The Conservation Law Foundation and the Wychmere Beach Club have agreed to a proposed settlement in a lawsuit filed by CLF alleging that the resort was illegally discharging pollution into marine waters. The settlement would result in reduced pollution, new efforts to address nitrogen sources and protect the Wychmere Harbor Watershed, according to a press release from CLF. It follows a U.S. Supreme C...

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...