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Dredging In Popponesset Approach Channel Wraps Up Using Ellicott Dredger

Sand from the Popponesset Approach Channel bulks up the beach near the western end of the Popponesset Spit on Tuesday. The Barnstable County dredge department finished dredging the channel on Monday.

Posted on October 23, 2023

The Barnstable County dredge program has completed dredging in the Popponesset approach channel.

The county began work in the channel, which is usually dredged annually in February or March, in mid-September and wrapped up on Monday, October 16.

Weather, multiple mechanical issues and habitat protection restrictions from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife all contributed to this year’s lengthy delay in getting started.

Mashpee has an intermunicipal agreement with the county in which the town handles permitting and the county does the dredging itself. Their goal was to dredge roughly 7,000 cubic yards of material to make the channel about five feet deep at the mean low water level.

Dredge program director Kenneth Cirillo said the new depth of the channel would be revealed by a post-dredge survey, which was to be done yesterday. Weather can shift sand back into parts of the channel that were already dredged.

Sand was deposited at various points near the western end of the Popponesset Spit, with the expectation that it will shift eastward over time, nourishing the beach.

Demobilizing will take place over the next few days, according to a notice on the Mashpee town website dated Monday. On Tuesday, Mr. Cirillo said the county planned to level the beach, which was bumpy and uneven at the time, with a skid-steer loader.

A hole marks the final dredge deposit site near the western end of the Popponesset Spit on Tuesday, where the Barnstable County dredge department placed sand removed from the Popponesset Approach Channel. The county finished dredging on Monday; on Tuesday, county dredge director Kenneth Cirillo said the team planned to level the beach surface.


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