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Dredging at Point Could Start by End of Week


Posted on June 21, 2016

By Dyke Hendrickson, Daily News

An emergency dredging project at Plum Island Point has been approved by state authorities and work could start by the end of next week, city officials say.

The work will be done near piers owned by the Charos family boating enterprise, at the end of the island on 82nd Street. The family owns the Captain’s Lady brand of vessels that accommodate both fishermen and whale watchers.

In recent years, sand has been aggregating near its docks, and captains have reported difficulty in maneuvering the boats at low tide.

City, state and federal authorities have been in agreement that dredging is appropriate, but action has been delayed for months.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation recently finalized permits after ascertaining the project would not threaten fish or other wildlife.

The sand swept from the bottom will be transferred to trucks that will take it to a spacious empty lot on Olga Way on the island, according to Mayor Donna Holaday.

She said it will be kept in reserve and could be considered for use should a part of the beach need a replenishment of sand.

The Charos family is reportedly paying for the dredging.

On a related matter, the U.S. Corps of Engineers has embarked on tests to determine if the harbor mouth needs to be dredged to ensure the safe passage of boats.

The study was announced at a meeting of the Merrimack River Beach Alliance, which met Friday.

Ed O’Donnell, chief, navigation services for the regional division of the Corps of Engineers, said there appears to be enough extra sand to merit “maintenance dredging,” but he said more study must be done.

In a separate development, the DCR has approved a request to pursue a temporary fix for erosion near Reservation Terrance on Plum Island.

Numerous homeowners near the 77th Street neighborhood have expressed concern that erosion is narrowing the sand and dune barrier between the ocean and their homes.

DCR officials have concurred that protective work should be done at the Terrace, which is state property.

City officials have contracted with GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. of Newburyport to help provide solutions.

Specifics weren’t disclosed, but Holaday said that state approval represents good news.

Source: Daily News

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