Save Popponesset Bay was founded in 1987 and is an all-volunteer, 501 (c) 3 organization, that works diligently to ensure that the Popponesset Spit and Bay remain intact for our children and their children to enjoy long into the future. SPB’s mission is to keep the waterways in and around Popponesset Bay safe and navigable and to protect the Popponesset Spit. The threats to this pristine and wonderful location are varied, numerous, and significant.
Save Popponesset Bay Blog
Save Popponesset Bay had a very busy Winter and Spring. The beauty of nature was all around us this winter despite the cold temperatures and frequent snow. Those of us lucky enough to have homes here are already benefiting from the work we have done thus far to restore the Spit and preserve the waters around Popponesset Bay.
The Following Highlights Our Efforts:
With the arrival of each winter storm, we were checking wind strengths and directions, phase of the moon, and the tides, to see what impact that storm would have on the Spit and the Bay. Except for a couple of spots on the Audubon land on the far eastern part of the Spit, the Spit survived well. This positive outcome is a result of the extensive work following Tropical Storm Sandy, when we allocated considerable amounts of funds (and thought and time and energy) to restoring the Spit to permitted levels.
The drama of this year’s Dredging of the Outer Channel:
Again this year, Save Popponesset Bay collaborated with the Town of Mashpee to excavate the maximum amount permitted under current regulations from the channel leading from the Bay to Nantucket Sound. This annual exercise was not without drama this year. All of the bad weather delayed the schedule for the Barnstable County Dredge so that our slot assigned for the outer channel dredge did not come up until late March, just as the calendar limit on our permit was to expire. More bad weather and needed repairs to the dredge forced requests for extensions and, with credit to the Town of Mashpee, our partners at Audubon and other state and federal agencies, the dredging was completed on Saturday, April 13. The grading of the sand, according to the specifications in our permit, was being completed this week. The sand is vital to the re-nourishment of the Spit and its stability, and the dredging itself allows for the passage of recreational boats all summer. A special thanks to Ken Bates and Jim Hanks for all of the coordination on this effort.
Next steps on the Spit
Now that the dredging has been completed and the dredging material has been placed on the Spit and groomed to permitted levels, we plan to plant more dune grasses where allowed on sensitive areas. The dune grass roots anchor the Spit, which is especially important in storms. We will also reinforce the wooden fences where staves may have disappeared. The wooden fences serve as a great way to build up wind-blown sand levels in vulnerable spots. We will also replace the string fencing which has a good effect on keeping human foot traffic off of the dune grass. As always, no fires or dogs on the Spit, please.