Topics: Waterways

ORLEANS – The local use of fertilizers and their impact on the town's water resources has been a subject of discussion among Orleans officials for years. Select board members last week said the time has come to take more forceful action. Following the lead of officials on Nantucket, the board voted 4-0 June 15 to draft an article for the special town meeting in October requesting that the town petition the sta...

East Inlets 'OK, In Chatham Terms'

By: Tim Wood

Shoaling, Obstructions Means Local Knowledge Critical For Boaters CHATHAM – Just a few years ago, Harbormaster Stuart Smith called all three of the inlets mariners used to access the Atlantic from Chatham Harbor “lousy.” Conditions have improved; Smith says the inlets are now “OK, in Chatham terms.” Which means that although the inlets are less dangerous than in past years, they are still tricky to navigate...

CHATHAM — As part of the never-ending struggle to keep the entrance to Stage Harbor clear of sand bars, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Murden arrived last week and has begun dredging operations. The Murden is similar in design to the Currituck, which is usually assigned to work in Chatham but is currently undergoing an 18-month, $9.6 million overhaul. This is the third year in a row that the A...

Herring River Pier Moratorium Removed From Warrant

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – A moratorium on the construction of new private docks and piers along the Herring River has been removed from proposed bylaw amendments slated to go before voters in May. The conservation commission worked over the past couple of years on amendments to the town’s water-dependent structures bylaw and the wetlands protection bylaw to better protect tidal wetland and small wetland resources. The morator...

ORLEANS – Can equity in sewer betterments be achieved for users downtown and in the area of Meetinghouse Pond? If the select board's public hearing on the matter March 9 is any indication, it doesn't seem likely. "I think what we can take away from all of this is there is no fair and equitable way to assess a betterment in this town," Finance Director Cathy Doane told the board at the conclusion of the two-hou...

Regulations Restrict Non-Resident Access To Round Cove

By: William F. Galvin

EAST HARWICH — Harwich residents and taxpayers will have exclusive use of a popular boat landing on Pleasant Bay this summer. The town has taken measures to prohibit the use of Round Cove landing along Pleasant Bay by non-residents from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. The new regulation is reflected in a change in the town’s Harbor Management Plan recommended by Harbormaster John Rendon, and approved by selectme...

ORLEANS — The shellfish and waterways advisory committee approved recommendations to the select board for balancing water access opportunities for commercial and recreational boaters as well as residents and visitors. Members also backed investigating paid parking at Rock Harbor, but deferred making a recommendation on plans to place kayak racks near town waters until consulting with the recreation advisory co...

ORLEANS – Water quality experts say that sewering is likely the best option for treating phosphorus loading in Baker Pond. The marine and fresh water quality committee was presented Jan. 24 with a draft final study on the 28-acre pond, which is on the Orleans-Brewster town line. The pond is the last of four waterways in town the committee has identified for study, with management plans already underway for Unc...

ORLEANS – If the town wants to move ahead with dredging the Nauset Estuary, some important questions need addressing. Questions include the location of the town boundary in the project area separating Orleans from Eastham, and can the boundary be moved? Town Counsel Michael Ford summarized for the select board Jan. 19 where things stand regarding the boundary as it relates to plans to follow through on the dre...

Mariners Sound Out On Draft Waterways Bylaw

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The next version of the waterways bylaw needs to address the shortage of moorings in town, while protecting the interests of commercial fishermen. That was the message the waterways advisory committee received in a public hearing last Thursday. The committee is revising Chapter 265 of the town bylaw, which regulates everything from abandoned vessels to waterskiing. But most of the bylaw, and most of ...

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...