The Popponesset Spit and the channel leading from the Bay to Nantucket Sound are all part of the area’s ecosystem. Keeping the channel dredged allows for flushing of the Bay with each tide.
We are in the process of obtaining permits and permissions to expand the channel and place the dredged material on the Spit, further building the beach on front of the dune.
The Plan includes:
- Widening the channel by 50 feet and extending the length by 250 feet
- Deepening the channel by 2 feet
- Adding a new catch basin west of the channel to catch sand as it drifts eastward before it fills the channel, to prevent it from filling in as rapidly.
The Town of Mashpee has approved final permits for the channel project.
SPB expects to complete a Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Mashpee to define exact roles and responsibilities during project execution.
Permit applications have been filed with the State of Massachusetts with final approvals expected in the fall of 2020.
Army Corps of Engineers dredging permit applications have been filed with final approvals also expected in the near term.
Projected channel project costs include:
- Dredging costs related to dredging 35,0000 cubic years from the outer channel for placement on the Spit (annual dredging usually results in 5,000-10,000 cubic yards.)
- Purchase and installation of additional beach grass to anchor the new sand
- Project management using Woods Hole Group, our coastal engineering firm
- Additional trucked sand (possibly) to complete the scope of the design
- Total costs expected to reach $1.5MM – $2.0MM
External funding sources:
- SPB has applied for a Green Infrastructure Grant from Coastal Zone Management (May 2020, awaiting decision)
- We are searching for additional grant opportunities as well.
- Timing depends on permit approvals
- Permit limitations due to spawning fish and endangered birds’ migratory patterns, likely leaving a window between September and January 15
- Availability of a dredging contractor to coordinate and oversee the project
- Dependence on availability of dredging equipment – options under review
To complement any grants, some generous SPB contributors have been designating contributions to be directed toward the channel project.