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Wellfleet Selectmen Plan Discussion on Harbor Dredging

Posted on July 30, 2015

Wellfleet selectmen will hold a public hearing Tuesday night to discuss the dredging needs of the town’s sand-choked harbor.

The area was last dredged in 2001, and now officials are worried the silt problem will cause safety hazards if it is not dredged soon.

Task force member and Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting Executive Director Michelle Insley said a healthy harbor should be dredged every 10 years.

“It’s a unique problem; it’s not like we can use the county dredge,” Insley said. “People can only boat 3 hours before or after the tide, and it becomes a real safety issue because the harbor master cannot navigate either.”

Tonight’s hearing begins at 7 p.m. in the Wellfleet Council of Aging.

Insley pointed out that this could also become an economic concern for a long-standing maritime community. The aquaculture industry aside, Insley said many local businesses like charter boats rely on the harbor.

The hearing will discuss how to fund the estimated $12 million it would take for a complete dredging. Insley said she suspects a combination of state and town funding would be in order.

“We’re completing our permitting process with the Army Corps of Engineers,” she said. “We need to do what we can do to find alternate sources of funding.”

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