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Comprehensive Dredge Permit Approved

Posted on October 18, 2016

By Sam Houghton,

Mashpee has received endorsement from numerous state and federal agencies on its bid for a 10-year, comprehensive dredging permit, bringing a satisfactory conclusion to a long application process.

The effort to combine the town’s four channels into one comprehensive permit, which has been led by Mashpee Waterways Commission chairman Kenneth H. Bates, will save the town money and time in seeking permits and on design work.

“It’s exciting that we got it,” said Mr. Bates at a commission meeting on Tuesday morning. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Mr. Bates received a round of applause from his fellow commissioners. He began the application process in 2013.

The US Army Corps of Engineers signed off on the project on September 22. State entities including Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management approved of the project earlier.

The new, single permit allows a county dredge to remove and disperse up to 31,150 cubic yards of sand from the Popponesset and Waquoit bay channels, although the amount dredged per year would likely be far less.

The town originally applied for three dredging permits for the four channels, which include the 1916 channel, Popponesset approach and inner channel, and the Little River/Great River channel into Waquoit Bay. The town applied for each permit every five years, Mr. Bates said. Design work for each permit could cost approximately $60,000, he said. Plus, permitting applications take time.

The Army Corps had announced in the spring a second round of public comment because a new location had been added in the permit for the deposit of dredged sand. Dead Neck beach, in Waquoit Bay, will be a primary depository, while Wills Work Road beach, formerly a primary spot, will become used only in emergency.

Scientists at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve opposed depositing sand on the Wills Work site because they hypothesized that the sand blocked a channel into Sage Lot Pond. The Army Corps approved the new site at Dead Neck.

Source: Cape News

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