Save Popponesset Bay Winter/Spring UpdateApril 2014

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Save The Date:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
6PM to Late
Save Popponesset Bay Annual Contributors Event
Popponesset Inn,   New Seabury
Dinner, Dancing, Auction & Fun 



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 Good News


 Popponesset Spit taken at high tide in March 


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.  


Winter activity

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.  

Popponesset Bay (Dawn Peterson)
About SPB
Save Popponesset Bay is a 501 c 3 all-volunteer organization founded in 1987.  Its current mission is to:
  1. Preserve, protect and restore the Popponesset spit
  2. Maintain open navigation channels into and out of Nantucket Sound
  3. Keep the waters in and around Popponesset safe and navigable and preserve and protect the Popponesset Spit as an endangered species habitat and registered barrier beach.
Through generous private donations, SPB is able to take the appropriate actions to ensure the stability of the Spit and navigability of the waters around the Popponesset Bay, including maintaining the required permitting with the federal, state and town authorities, as well as maintaining strong partnerships with like-minded organizations.