MA - Towns Back to Work on Nauset Inlet Dredging
EASTHAM -- Still waters run deep, but the Nauset Estuary isn’t deep enough anymore.
Eastham and Orleans are back at work, figuring out how, when and where to dredge the vital access route to the Atlantic.
The Nauset Estuary Stakeholder’s Group was organized last winter to tackle a dredge design plan, but before it could have its first full meeting the project was shoaled in by the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month it held its first meeting and now is gathering biweekly to make up for lost time. Meanwhile, some studies have advanced behind the scenes.
The two towns have been trying to reach accord on dredging parts of the silted-in estuary, specifically the channels from Nauset Harbor and Town Cove to the inlet.
In recent years the channels and the inlet have become too shallow for boats to navigate safely except at high tide. Fishing and recreational boating are big economic drivers in both towns and both industries have been affected by the limited transit times.
Finally the stakeholder group, comprised of community members, has begun to coalesce around a plan.
“The goal is to decide the future of the dredging project, if there will be a project and what are the components,” explained Woods Hole Group consultant Leslie Fields, who presided over the first meeting; the group members were poised to select a chairman.