Save Popponesset Bay Fall Update
November, 2014

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click here for 2014 dinner photos

Boat Lighting

We'll have the boat lighting in Bright Coves on the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 28 at dusk. It's a great chance to see friends and neighbors and watch the Petersons throw the switch and light the sailboat for the holidays. Everyone brings a little something to this block party. We hope to see you there.  


Save the Date - 2015 SPB Dinner

Mark your calendars for the Save Popponesset Bay Summer Dinner on Friday night, July 10 at the Popponesset Inn.

Channel Dredge in Popponesset Bay 

Last month, the Town dredged the 1916 Channel and much of the sand was placed on the Spit in one of the low areas near the Audubon land. This addressed a serious low spot in the Spit. We estimate 3,500 cubic yards made it onto the Spit and was graded to our permits. Thanks to Ken Bates and John Malloy for coordinating with the Barnstable County Dredge for the good result.   


Spit Restoration Project

As you know from our SPB dinner this summer, we have been focused on developing a strategy and plan to deal with the erosion of the Spit since Tropical Storm Sandy forcefully showed us how fragile it is. We hired Woods Hole Group, an internationally known coastal engineering firm headquartered in Falmouth MA, to analyze the situation and present us with alternatives. Those of you who attended the dinner, or walk the spit, know the situation needs immediate attention if the Spit is to survive, not just long-term, but even through the next severe weather event.


You may have seen in the Mashpee Enterprise that the Town of Mashpee and Mass Audubon are supporting our application for a grant from MA Coastal Zone Management ("CZM") to help us with planning and permitting a large-scale, multi-year reinforcement and re-build of the Spit. John Malloy and Eric Petersen worked closely with Woods Hole Group to prepare the grant application and were instrumental in getting the endorsements of the Town of Mashpee and Mass Audubon. The total expected cost for planning and permitting is $277,000. We are asking CZM for a grant of 70% of that amount. If we get the grant, we will be responsible for the balance of $83,000 over 12-18 months.


The Spit restoration plan calls for a multi-year dredging project with dune and beach reconstruction along the entire Spit. Sand will be supplied from the boating channels whenever possible. Long term sand sources will be evaluated as part of the next phase of the project. The project would significantly expand the size of the Spit and greatly improve its chances of survival in the face of rising sea levels and storms. We estimate the total cost (including the planning and permitting) to exceed $1.5 million. The Popponesset Bay and Spit are vital elements of the quality of life, endangered species habitat, and recreation all contributing to the value of property in Mashpee, New Seabury and Popponesset Island. If the Spit continues its current trend of weakening, the impact will be harsh.


We expect to hear soon from the CZM regarding the status of our grant application. Moving forward, we plan to spread our contribution base as wide as possible to help move this critical project forward.


While we wait to hear from CZM, we continue to work with Woods Hole Group to ensure the spit is healthy enough to survive the upcoming winter storm season. They have strongly recommended that we place several thousand yards of sand on the spit in key locations to prevent significant additional damage from occurring this winter. SPB does not have adequate funds available for this effort and will be sending a letter shortly to our supporters seeking additional donations by year end to support this critical effort. Sand placed on the spit this winter should ultimately reduce the cost of the larger reconstruction project.

Popponesset Bay (Dawn Peterson)
About SPB

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.