This week the county dredge took the last bites out of the appendix of sand that had hung off the south side of the Point the last 10 years or more. She chewed it off up to the new salt marsh that has been forming right where there had been a salt marsh in the early 1800s that produced three tons of winter cattle fodder every year.
I’m glad to see the channel is wide open again. For the first time since the mid-1960s you can see open water all the way to Grand Island. Boat traffic will regain some sanity next summer but swimmers are going to have to work for it to get to the Point on their morning swim (hopefully the widening will persuade the inexperienced from attempting the crossing on a Saturday afternoon in July. With a cooler for a PFD.)
This is the second part of the project to widen the channel, build a sand dune for the terns to nest on, and pump the rest of the 40,000 cubic yards of sand nearly 2 miles through a floating pipe running down the Seapuit to the beach next to the west jetty of the Osterville Cut.
According to the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition there will be one more round of dredging in 2021:
“Phase one began in November 2018 with the removal of approximately 130 feet of the western tip of DNSI. Five acres (5,000 cubic yards) of the dredge material was placed in the middle of DNSI to enhance nesting habitat for shorebirds. The remaining material (39,800 cubic yards) was deposited on the eastern end of DNSI for beach nourishment and bird habitat.
“Fall 2019, phase two, will see the removal of an additional 130 feet at the western tip of DNSI. Again, some material will be placed in the middle of the island for habitat enhancement with a larger amount added to the eastern end for habitat and beach nourishment. In phase three, to be completed in 2021, we will remove an additional 130+/- feet from the west end and “back pass” that material to the east end.”