Topics: Waterways

Revised Project Scope Sought For Estuary Dredging

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – The question remains as to if and how town officials can proceed with plans to dredge the Nauset Estuary, and select board members say they need more information in order to navigate a path forward. Without the town of Eastham, whose select board voted last month to withdraw from a memorandum of understanding with Orleans to partner on the project, town officials are now left to consider a new scope ...

ORLEANS – Can Orleans soldier forward with dredging the Nauset Estuary without partnering with Eastham? Select board members are hopeful. The Eastham Select Board's vote Dec. 13 to back out of a memorandum of understanding between the two towns to move ahead with permitting for the dredge leaves Orleans officials with some decisions to make. But there was interest expressed by the Orleans Select Board Dec. 15 ...

Eastham Withdraws From Nauset Estuary Dredging Plan

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- If Orleans plans to continue to pursue permitting to dredge out the Nauset Estuary, it will have to do it without Eastham's support. The Eastham Select Board voted 5-0 Monday to withdraw from a memorandum of understanding between the town and Orleans guiding how the project would unfold. The vote came during a joint meeting between the select boards in both towns at the Eastham Public Library. Pl...

CHATHAM — A detailed study commissioned by the town is recommending the installation of temporary structures likely made of sheet steel in the waters off Crescent Beach as part of a strategy to reduce the need for expensive annual dredging to keep Stage Harbor open. “Our Stage Harbor entrance channel has sort of been under attack, if you will, from the Atlantic Ocean,” Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon told ...

Celebrate Our Waters Returns After COVID-19 Hiatus

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- Water quality continues to be a cornerstone issue on Cape Cod, and for almost 20 years, the Orleans Pond Coalition has been doing its part to try and improve the region’s waterways. From piloting programs to conducting research into new ways to help keep the town’s ponds clean, the coalition has taken numerous approaches to addressing the issue of water quality since it began in 2003. Part of the co...

CHATHAM – When Ken Cirillo took over the Barnstable County dredge program as its director in August 2020, he was tasked with one major assignment: stabilize the program. It was a lofty task given the challenges the program had faced in recent years, most notably dealing with equipment issues that continuously plagued the county’s two dredges. “The goal this year was to stabilize and rebuild confidence,” Cir...

Harwich Channel Dredging Draws Interest For Excess Sand

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Cape Cod is a sand deposit, and for some shorefront property owners, sand is also a worthy investment, particularly in the age of climate change. That was evident when the town of Harwich opened bids this week for the purchase of sand to be recovered from two dredge projects. Within the week the county dredge will start removing sand from Allen Harbor channel, then on to Saquatucket Harbor channel, c...

ORLEANS — There was some confusion of terms last week as the Eastham and Orleans select boards talked over their arrangements regarding the proposed dredging of Nauset Estuary. Was the draft document memorializing those thoughts a memorandum of agreement or a memorandum of understanding? “Understanding” came a lot closer to capturing the situation. At the Eastham board’s May 3 meeting, its vice chair Aimee Eck...

ORLEANS — Like many, she stayed close to home the last few months. She picked up a lot of information about Deep Pond, and made sure to get as much sun as she could. Now she’s taking a break before moving to Pleasant Bay for the summer and fall. She (that’s how her creators refer to her) is PEARL, aka Platform for Expanding AUV exploRation to Longer ranges (“Auv” stands for autonomous underwater vehicles). C...

CHATHAM — Having learned that it would cost the same – or a bit less – than building a new structure, the select board voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse the use of the historic Coast Guard Stage Harbor boathouse to house a new upweller at 90 Bridge St. The town’s engineers estimated that it would cost about $4,740,500 to build a new building for the town’s shellfish propagation program, putting it on a new ...

CHATHAM — Th e plan was for the county dredge to move the sand from the Stage Harbor entrance channel to a feeder beach west of Cockle Cove, where it would slowly drift east, nourishing beaches along the way. But thanks to a looming deadline related to piping plovers, that plan is being modified a bit. Updating the select board last week, Health and Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson said the d...

ORLEANS — The conservation commission is ready to approve an alum treatment for impaired Uncle Harvey’s Pond. The board closed public comment Feb. 16 and scheduled a vote on an order of conditions for March 2. The treatment, recommended in a study by the UMass Dartmouth Coastal Systems Group that was seconded by the town’s marine and freshwater quality committee, would reduce available phosphorus in the pond...

ORLEANS — Sometimes, floating an idea means just that. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty member is testing an experimental solar-powered data buoy known as PEARL that's anchored in Deep Pond. Last month, Professor Olivier L. de Weck answered questions from the conservation commission about the device, which is a prototype of a larger version to be deployed in the ocean. The floating p...

Algae Blooms Impacting Harwich Ponds

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Over the past couple of years the number of algae blooms in local ponds seem to be on the rise. Skinequit Pond in South Harwich has experienced two blooms just in the past two weeks, and for the second year in a row the West Reservoir in West Harwich had the blue-green shade that is emblematic of cyanobacteria. The town had a decade-long battle with algae blooms and fish kills in Hinckley’s Pond befo...

ORLEANS — Steering a ship of skeptics and advocates of the town buying its own dredge, dredge advisory committee chairman Charlie Carlson kept an even keel Monday during discussion of a financial model prepared by Woods Hole Group. Members punched holes in the draft model and each other’s arguments in a process that will lead to a recommendation to the select board and, if it passes that hurdle, a future town ...

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...