Posted on September 18, 2023
After a long delay due to a variety of factors, including weather, mechanical issues and habitat protection restrictions, dredging is finally underway in the approach channel to Popponesset Bay.
Leverman Chris Armstrong helps operate the Barnstable County dredge Cod Fish II on Tuesday. The dredge swings back and forth to dredge the channel in an arc pattern. Very coarse material in the channel made it slow going, Mr. Armstrong said. The county’s goal is to complete the project in 20 days, but the time frame depends on multiple variables.
Mashpee Harbormaster Robert Tomaino stands aboard a small boat after a trip to the Barnstable County dredge on Tuesday. Mr. Tomaino has been working with the county dredge program for several months to plan and execute dredging in the Popponesset approach channel.
A large pipe carries a slurry of water and sand away from the dredge and under the surface of Nantucket Sound. Roughly 6,500 feet of pipe is being used to convey sand taken from the Popponesset approach channel to the beach near the end of Wading Place Road.
The cutter head, a toothed mechanism reminiscent of a giant egg beater, pokes above the surface. The cutter head is used to slice into sand at the bottom of the Popponesset approach channel, and a pump onboard the dredge sucks up the sand and sends it on its way toward the beach at the end of Wading Place Road.
Kenneth Cirillo, Barnstable County dredge program director, stands at the railing of the county dredge Cod Fish II on Tuesday.
A dark slurry of sand and water from the bottom of the Popponesset approach channel pours onto the beach near the end of Wading Place Road. Sand coming from the pipe is bleached white by the sun and helps to nourish the beach.