Sampson’s Island Dredge Update

I’ve missed the recent meetings and hearings on the dredging proposal by Three Bays and Mass Audubon to take 800 feet of sand from the Cotuit end and pass it back and shore up the Osterville end.

The Barnstable Patriot has an article this week updating the current state of the proposal and the mounting opposition to it. Recent meetings at Freedom Hall hosted by the Cotuit-Santuit Civic Association, and ongoing Conservation Commission hearings have continued debate over the big project.

The next CC hearing is September 17 at 6:30 at town hall in Hyannis. The Patriot writes:

““What needs to happen is to move it into a higher gear,” Barnstable Conservation Director Rob Gatewood said this week. That includes a complete environmental review, with conditions, from the state’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, which he called a “huge role as gatekeeper.”That report may or may not be ready on Sept. 17, he said.


Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

One thought on “Sampson’s Island Dredge Update”

  1. David – as my family only comes to Cotuit for vacation two weeks each summer I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but we care a lot about Cotuit so we’re following the issue.

    Because of my son’s interest in environmental issues and the sea (he dreams of working for WHOI), we attended the Three Bays meeting at the Cotuit Santuit Civic Association. I wanted him to understand that decisions are not made solely on the basis of science. He had his eyes opened that night and has a better appreciation of the term “competing interests”.

    I followed your link to the Patriot article and was struck by the following:

    “The couple’s letter in The Barnstable Patriot in January generated many calls from other local people who agreed with them, he said. They have even created a Facebook page, and a session with Three Bays at the Cotuit Santuit Civic Association drew more opposition to the plan, Wheelwright said.”

    I appreciate that the Barnstable Patriot is not New York Times but it appears that Ms. Vaughn did not interview any citizens other than the Wheelwrights. Having been at that meeting, my impression is that while Mr. Wheelwright is correct in stating that the Civic Association meeting drew more opposition he neglects to add that it also drew more support. Perhaps he is an attorney.

    You have studied this in more detail that I have, you are a sailor and a full-time resident, so you have a broader understanding of this issue than most. I’d be interested in your take on a couple of things:

    – Some of the recreational boaters who make use of Sampson’s Island seem to believe that their use of the beach is a “right” rather than a privledge granted by Mass Audubon.

    – cost/benefit analysis of dreging. There aren’t that many plovers at this location – will the dreging have an impact? Costs of doing nothing – safety for boaters and swimmers.

    – Hidden agendas. The Wheelwrights don’t happen to live on Bluff Point, do they?

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