Save Popponesset Bay Blog

Grass Needed for Spit (Dune grass that is)

Grass Needed for Spit (Dune grass that is)

February and March are two very active months as we are making huge progress toward our goals of restoring the spit and getting the channels dredged for summer boating. We are thrilled to report to you that SPB is about to reach its first major milestone, COMPLETION of dune construction! The Spit has completely transformed and looks incredible! Check out these photos or take a walk down and see the improvements for yourself!

Thanks to your donations last year, we are in the midst of the largest delivery of new sand we have ever done, 15,000 cubic yards, and expect the grading and completion of dunes by the middle of March. This is important not only to protect and stabilize the Spit, but also to protect and improve our navigation channels in and around Popponesset Bay.
We need your financial support now:

  1. We need to anchor the dune sand and prevent it from washing into the channel. Planting natural dune grass is very time intensive, and estimated to cost $78,000.  We have raised $35,000 toward that goal but need to raise another $43,000 to complete it.
  2. We have also committed to co-fund the dredging of the outer channel to Nantucket Sound later in March. The Town has committed to dredge 5,000 cubic yards and SPB has committed to fund up to 4,000 additional cubic yards for $52,000. This is the third year in a row that SPB has contributed significant funding to dredge the maximum amount of sand from the outer approach channel. The newly dredged sand will be placed on the Sound side of the Spit in front of the larger, newly constructed dunes. Also during March, we will complete grading of the sand, plant the dune grasses, and add symbolic fencing to protect it. When finished, this will complete the dune construction phase of our project!!
The total cost of the sand, grasses and dredging this winter alone is well over $400,000. Can you please lend us your financial support to help us complete the funding of this effort today?
If you are thinking of making a tax deductible contribution in 2017, please consider making your donation now so we can complete this phase of work and protect our investment. If you would like more information about how to make a Leadership gift, or a multi-year pledge, contribute securities or look into matching gifts, please contact one of the SPB Directors or call 781-729-1008.
Thanks for all your support!


SPB Board of Directors
Margie Decter
Eric Peterson
John Malloy
Bob Hughes
Mike Moskowitz
Mike Oleksak

Funds Needed for Spit Dunes

Funds Needed for Spit Dunes

Dear Save Popponesset Bay Supporters,


We are fortunate that the Spit survived last week’s flurry of storms, winds and high tides. Our winter work has since resumed and we need your help to immediately raise another $90k to complete our Winter dune reconstruction phase of the project.


The trucks are rolling on the Spit delivering clean sand to shore up low spots and substantially strengthen the dunes. Funds are needed to work with Woods Hole Group to ensure the dune stabilization meets environmental and coastal protection standards and to plant natural beach grass to secure the dunes.


We have a very limited time window during the winter months to do this work due to permitting regulations, and thus will not be possible without your support.


Please consider donating today at As always all donations are tax deductible and we accept stock, check, credit cards or PayPal donations.


Thank you in advance for your generosity!
 The SPB Board

Thank you to SPB supporters!

Thank you to SPB supporters!

Friends and neighbors –


Many thanks to you who have financially supported SPB and its efforts with your Leadership Contributions, multi-year pledges, corporate stock, corporate matches and individual donations.  We are at the last days of 2016 for tax-deductible contributions to our 501c3.

We are very grateful to the eight families who have made Leadership Contributions and Pledges.  Our donor base of contributors from Bright Coves, Popponesset, Daniels Island, Summer Sea and Popponesset Island continues to grow. More people are making multi-year commitments to SPB.  Please make your tax-deductible donation TODAY by clicking “Donate” on!

Over the winter, we will continue to provide storm updates and reports on our progress for permits for the big SPB plan, as well as the springtime dredging of the outer channel leading to the Nantucket Sound.


Best wishes to you and your families for 2017!


The SPB Board of Directors:
Margie Decter
Bob Hughes
John Malloy
Mike Moskowitz
Eric Peterson
Mike Oleksak

Double Your Donation

Double Your Donation

In December, the dredging of the 1916 Channel inside Popponesset Bay was completed and sand placed on the Spit.

Dear Neighbor –

Thank you for your past support of SPB. As mentioned, we are 100% dependent on local donations and contributors like you to maintain and protect Popponesset Bay and The Spit, “Our Happy Place.”


We are writing to you now because SPB has not yet reached our annual fundraising goal. The Spit still has several vulnerable areas and just one large storm could erode the progress we have made to date. As an added year-end incentive, the SPB Board has announced that it will match up to $15,000 of pledges made between now and December 31, 2016. Can we please count on your support? As an all-volunteer group, your contribution goes directly to improving the beautiful area and ecosystem around Popponesset Bay.  We accept PayPal, Checks, Credit Cards, Matching Corporate Gifts and Stock. Please make your tax deductible donation TODAY by clicking “Donate” on!


By donating today, we can double your gift which funds are needed to supplement the Winter and Spring dredge of our channels which improves navigation and produces beach sand to repair and reinforce the Spit. Would you be willing to contribute $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more? The Spit gives us so much pleasure every summer; your donation to SPB is a gift that will keep giving back to our community and environment for years to come!


Thank you for your generosity and Happy Holidays,


Your Friends and Neighbors at Save Popponesset Bay

Thanksgiving Sailboat Lighting

Thanksgiving Sailboat Lighting

Come kick off the holiday season by joining the Bright Coves neighborhood on Friday November 25th – before dusk – to watch the lighting of the Petersons’ sailboat in Spoondrift Cove (on Bright Coves Way)! Fire pit, music, pot luck and refreshments start at dusk. Last year we had 60-70 people join us!

We hope you enjoy this season of Thanksgiving! Our heartfelt thanks to our community for your continued support to Save Popponesset Bay!

2016 Fundraising Appeal

2016 Fundraising Appeal

When Hurricane Matthew threatened to pound the Cape in October, Save Popponesset Bay jumped into action. Thanks to our summer fundraising, within days we were able to mobilize an emergency shipment of 2,000 cubic yards of sand to protect our most vulnerable areas; we focused our effort on the South side where we reinforced dunes and built up some of the lower areas on the Spit.  Fortunately for us, the storm’s impact was limited to the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. coast, but we may not be as lucky next time. We will continue to make steady progress, but we know we are still one big storm away from potential disaster.

At this time of year of philanthropic giving, we hope you will consider making a meaningful tax-deductible donation to Save Popponesset Bay. We need your financial support today to accelerate completion of our capital project to secure the Spit from future storms, and protect our investment today in and around Popponesset Bay.  We are asking for contributions now to raise $200,000 before year-end to stay on track to fund our stabilization efforts (described below) and to start to build toward the bigger project (deeper, wider channels) as soon as agencies approve.

Save Popponesset Bay now also accepts contributions of stock and matching corporate gifts in addition to donations via checks or Paypal. Our “SPB Leadership” campaign has grown with seven families making significant gifts and pledges.  We are grateful that they recognize the value of this work and the impact we are making on our community, but we need everyone’s help to reach our goal.  Your financial support to our all-volunteer 501c3 goes directly to preserving and improving the area we all love, our “happy place” as one contributor called it.

Why Contribute to SPB?

Save Popponesset Bay is run by a Board of volunteer neighbors from the Popponesset Bay area. So 100% of funds go directly to protecting and maintaining the Spit and improving the safety, water quality, and navigation in Popponesset Bay.


In 2016, we made significant progress in reinforcing the Sound side of the Spit where we have permits.   With a combination of trucked and dredged sand, we added over 20,000 cubic yards to the Spit in 2016.  We planted more dune grass to anchor the new sand.  While additional sand has made the Spit stronger, it is still a fragile barrier beach protecting the homes on Popponesset Bay and Popponesset Creek. The Spit is in far better shape than it was in the winter of 2014, when it was deemed by Woods Hole Group to be in “critical condition.”  Massachusetts Audubon tells us that more endangered birds than ever are using the Spit’s wildlife habitat for breeding and nesting the past two years.  Over the past winters, we have worked with the Town to take more sand out of the channel leading to the Sound than ever before. And in contrast to years past, we heard no reports this year from boaters of shallow spots out to the Sound in areas where the Town has permits to dredge.

In 2014 SPB won an $180,000 grant to work with Woods Hole Group on our master plan to protect the Spit and to improve navigation in and around the Bay. We are thrilled to report that we completed that planning work and pending fundraising and regulatory permitting and approvals, we will begin implementation! Schematics of this work are included here, but we are happy to share with anyone more details from the report. Click here for our progress summary.

We will soon start the process of getting new permits to execute on the long-term plan of the coastal engineering firm, Woods Hole Group. The big plan calls for dredging 45,000 cubic yards from the channel leading to the Sound, plus a catch basin.  The catch basin will serve as a rich source of sand, and also as a protector of the channel between annual dredges.  We will pursue permits for a longer, wider, deeper channel alongside the catch basin.   All of the sand dredged will be used to build up the Spit.  It will all work together. The catch basin and channel provide sand for the Spit support and the deeper channels make for safer conditions for recreational boaters.

We hope you will make a meaningful contribution or pledge now to protect our investment and complete these projects.  

Thank you for your continuing support!


Tropical Storm Set to Hit Popponsesset Spit

Tropical Storm Set to Hit Popponsesset Spit

So long Summer and welcome to storm season. Today’s storm is Tropical Storm Hermine and we’ll have 5-7 foot waves hitting the Spit.  The Spit remains vulnerable in several areas, and we hope our new dunes will hold up without much reinforcement. We will update you on any damage sustained and our plans over the Winter.

This is a good chance to reinforce why we need to raise more money this season for our Capital project. We are currently making great progress but repairing or reinforcing  the Spit can only  take place once we have  adequate funds. The ideal state of the Spit is to have a high dune with lots of grass and a gradual slope to the waterline.  We currently have a well constructed high dune with grass but do not have enough money to build up the beach yet.
Please make a tax-deductible contribution today so we can take advantage of the upcoming Winter dredge. to donate.

Thank you to those who have contributed this 2016-2017 fiscal year which began in July.

Please consider making a 3-year pledge now or your annual contribution so we can build up the beach and plan out our channel enhancement in practical phases.The sooner we build up the beach the better off we will be in sustaining the integrity of the Spit down the road.

The time to act is now.  Let’s get this Capital project done asap and get back to normal annual maintenance mode. Thank you for all you do to protect and preserve our “happy place!”

Important Notice About Access at Popponesset Spit

Important Notice About Access at Popponesset Spit

As you know from an earlier post, we have been involved in talks with Popponesset Beach Association (PBA) and concerned neighbors, who have been working with Town of Mashpee’s fire and police departments to address safety issues and private property concerns around the Spit.
In addition to the recent destruction at The Spit, there is a growing problem of visitors leaving bicycles, strollers, wagons and trash on Wading Place Road Extension before and after the boulders, which are private property (i.e. owned by homeowners and PBA). Additionally, the Town is concerned about these items obstructing access for emergency vehicles and for neighbors safely exiting homes.
As a result, we have been working collaboratively to develop some solutions to ensure we all can continue to enjoy the Spit safely while respecting our neighbors and their homes.
Effective August 1:
Bikes, strollers, and wagons may not be abandoned on private property (before or after the boulders or in the street). If left unattended, items will be removed by OnePointe Security and moved to behind the Popponesset Community House.*
As a temporary solution:
  • PBA will allow bikes to be left behind the Popponesset Community House (not on the baseball field or on the pavement or basketball court)
  • SPB will allow strollers and wagons on the Spit as long as they are kept with you. As before, bikes and wheeled kayak carts are not allowed on the beach.
A reminder that The Spit is a fragile wildlife preserve, privately owned by Save Popponesset Bay and Mass Audubon. With the help of many committed individuals who live in the area, SPB has spent almost a million dollars to Save the Spit by widening the beach and building up our dune. There are plans are to continue this work for all of us to enjoy the Spit for years to come.
We understand this is a change, and may cause some to consider it an inconvenience. It is being done with an attempt to bring safety and respect to all. Please know we are working for a longer term plan and will share feedback with PBA as they bring a plan forward for next summer. We appreciate your understanding and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
In the meantime, please spread the word about observing these and a few basic additional rules: Please stay off the dunes, please remove your trash, no alcohol or smoking. Mass Audubon would also like to remind everyone that dogs are not allowed on the beach from April 1 – September 15 (endangered bird season), and please respect the hours of 6 AM – 11 PM.
* PBA, Save Popponesset Bay and OnePointe are not responsible for damage or loss.

Protection at the Spit

Protection at the Spit

We wanted to let you know that there was an unusual amount of destructive activity due to the July 4th celebrations at the Spit. Please review the press release which shares that we are implementing recommendations from the Mashpee Police and our neighborhood associations to assure personal safety and environmental protection at the Spit. Please feel free to contact any of us or Mike Oleksak at 781-729-1008 with any questions.

Dredging complete

We made tremendous progress this winter!

Save Popponesset Bay continued to work with the Town of Mashpee, Mass Audubon and various agencies to add considerable amounts of sand to the Popponesset Spit over the past few months.

The combination of trucked sand and dredged sand from the channel leading from Popponesset Bay to Nantucket Sound resulted in over 16,000 cubic yards of new sand deposited on the spit, building up the dunes and beach and preparing the channels for summer recreational boat traffic.

But there were moments…

The trucking and grading of 7,000 cubic yards of sand on the Spit in January and February went smoothly. However, high winds delayed significantly the transport of the barges and pipe. And at the deadline to complete the work by April 1, the Barnstable County dredge was still en route from Truro to Popponesset Bay.

The Town of Mashpee contracts the County Dredge for this work. Ken Bates, from the Town of Mashpee’s Waterway Commission, obtained an extension beyond the original April 1 deadline for the dredging of the Approach channel (Bay to Sound). Obtaining these extensions requires significant communication and signoffs from many agencies. Big thanks to Ken for making it all happen!

Once the work got underway during the week of April 18th, (phew!) a total of about 9,000 cubic yards were removed from the channel leading to Nantucket Sound and placed strategically to fill in low areas and to build the beach in front of the dune on the Spit. We worked with our coastal engineers, Woods Hole Group, to coordinate the work on the channels and simultaneously strengthen the barrier beach. It all works together in our ecosystem.

SPB provided extra funding to the Town of Mashpee again this year to complement the Town’s budget to remove the additional sediment from the channel.