2009 Report of the

Harbormaster/

Natural Resources Department

 

2009dockage was reduced due to visitor receipts being down by 26% as predicted inlast years report. Even with a recovery from the exorbitant fuel prices seen theprevious season, a recession continues to make an impact.  As of this writing,another 22 families have been added to the list of customers who have relinquishedtheir slips for 2010. These berths are refilled with boaters from our waitinglist as they slips become available.  

 

Itbecame painfully obvious that people had stopped using their boats, or at leastboaters were not coming to Harwich Port. In order to jump start something, theBoard of Selectmen agreed with the Harbormaster to reduce certain offloading fees whenit came to the Tuna season.  The marina counts on a usually strong August.  Ifthere was any good news this year, it was that reducing these offloading fees attractedsport fishermen to return to Saquatucket from Stage Harbor.

 

 

FY09

 

FY08

Saquatucket Dockage

451,112

-1.94%

460,022

Visitor Dockage

117,995

-26.92%

161,462

Mooring Permit Fee

64,625

3.23%

62,605

Ramp Fee Collected

22,637

-7.24%

24,403

Allen Town Dock

22,562

4.64%

21,562

Offload Permit Fee

12,598

-21.14%

15,976

Fuel Commission

7,581

-15.04%

8,923

Electric Use

19,208

24.92%

15,376

Wychmere Town Pier

20,462

2.40%

19,984

List Waiting Fee

16,304

10.93%

14,698

Shellfish Permits*

6,850

40.40%

4,879

Ice Receipts

1,726

-7.60%

1,868

MSA Fee

900

50.00%

600

Mooring Drop/Haul 

200

17.65%

170

Trap Permits

50

100.00%

25

Allen Harbr Storage

13,689

0.00%

13,689

 

 

 

 

TOTAL RECEIPTS

$778,498

-5.78%

$826,241

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARBOR EXPENSES

 

 

 

Expenses (actual)

83,953

13.91%

73,704

Salaries & Wages  

242,986

10.29%

220,309

Subtotal Expenses

326,939

11.20%

294,013

 

 

 

 

NET

$451,559

-15.16%

$532,228

(receipts less expense)

 

 

 

 

Muchwork has gone into revitalizing the workshop (the Old Fire House on at 203 Bank Street) which included replacement with anefficient gas furnace, insulation of the shop ceiling, repainting exterior sidewall and trim, and improving and neatening the backyard with level hardener bythe Highway Department. Special thanks go to Tom Telesmanick who spearheads ourdock maintenance in the Department.

 

Wewere very fortunate to get services from two young men for 3 hours per day forsix weeks this summer through the Cape Cod Summer Youth Employment Programwhich was funded by Career Opportunities in Hyannis.This was part of the Obama stimulus package this year. We used the help to pressurewash the float decks, paint fences and continue replacing bad planks throughoutthe marina.   In an effort to get a feel for maintenance needs our WaterwaysCommittee members volunteered a day to strip and replace planks in the outerdock.  Further, we continue to take advantage of help provided by the Senior Tax Work-Off Policy program enacted in 2007. Thisprogram allows active retirees to receive a reduction of $750 in their localtax bill in exchange for 100 hours of community service to the Town.

 

ComprehensivePermit

Aftermore than two years of red tape, the state Department of Environmental Protectionissued a comprehensive dredge and beach nourishment Chapter 91 license to thetown for projects along Nantucket Sound. The comprehensive permit is the firstof its kind for the town and will be valid for a 10-year period. It allowsdredging of Saquatucket, Wychmere and Allen Harbor channels and the Herring River entrance channel, as well as beachnourishment on public and private beaches from Herring River to Red River Beach. There is a closed window to dredging from Jan. 15 throughMay 30 each year designed to protect spawning, larval and juvenile developmentof winter flounder. The previous permits closed that window on May 15. Mostcommunities are not allowed to dredge until June 15, and the earlier time framegives Harwich a slight edge in gaining access to the county dredge each season.

 

Thepermit allows the town to dredge to six feet with an allowable one-footoverdredge in Herring River, Allen and Wychmere Harbor entrance channels. It allows dredgingeight feet below mean low water in Saquatucket Harbor channel with a one-foot overdredge.There are also provisions in place in the permit to protect nesting pipingplovers.

 

 

Dredging Work Allen Harbor

Codfish,the county dredge, put 11,000 cubic yards of material on public beaches as itcleared the outer Allen Harbor Channel. Codfish was wrapping up the entrancechannel project the first week of May and placed sand along Ocean Avenue Beach. The dredge pumped 3,000 cubic yards to Grey Neck Beach, where neighbors had been urgingselectmen to add sand over the past year. Another 2,000 cubic yards were placedon the Earle Road Beach before the dredge pipe was moved to theeast, where sand was placed at the end of Wah Wah Taysee Road, then on Atlantic Avenue beach, and finally Ocean Avenue.

 

Time-of-year (TOY) restrictions put in place by the state to protect spawning winter flounder prohibited work from inside or between the jetties until July 1st. The plan was to have the county dredgereturn in the fall to clear the channel. The Harbormastersoffice, as a result, was inundated with calls and e-mail from boaters in Allen Harbor complaining about the condition of the channel between the two entrance jetties.  Inside the bar built up on the west side of the channel creating a bottleneck, squeezing boats to the east side and leaving one lane of passage. We hoped boaters could get by with one lane thissummer inside the jetties. This part of the job was identified by BOSas an emergency dredge project and approval was granted to use funds from thetown’s dredge reserve fund to have a private contractor remove 1,000 cubicyards between the jetties.  This work was completed by Patriot Marine using along armed excavator at a cost of $19,648.

 

Allen Harbor Basin

The town has been working on a long-termplan for dredging the Allen Harbor basin and an article is being consideredfor as early as FY11 at a cost in the neighborhood of $2.7 million. CoastalEngineering continues to develop the plan showing all abutting property ownersand has laid out several options for calculating the appropriation of costs forthe town betterment proposal. The goal is to provide a relatively easy tounderstand and transparent methodology that can be used in determining a fairand equitable allocation of cost for the project. The existing by-law allowsthe Town to assess all permittees based upon their individual volumes, plus anyTown incurred costs of permits. The project plans include disposal of roughly40,000 cubic yards of soft material at the disposal area that may become bermfor a future septic treatment lagoon.

 

The project is invasive in that itrequires complete removal of marinas including pilings and utilities.Therefore, added associated costs for removal, storing, re-driving and rewiringthese docks must also be considered.

 

Becausethere is an ocean disposal site available about 6.5 miles east of BlockIsland,  about sixty miles from us, we need to look at the idea of barging onceagain as it may be cheaper and far less troublesome than what has beenproposed. Another alternative would be getting a disposal site three miles off Harwich Port, within the federal area of NantucketSound. This is an achievable distance for diffusion disposal by the Countydredge.

 

Itis believed, because of the shallow depth, the work could also be done using anappropriate type machine like a big excavator from a barge.  This couldwork around the pilings within the marinas.  Fewer pilings would have to bepulled to get the barge in these tight areas.  This would save costlyre-driving which is an unfortunate extra in the plans. Allen Harbor in its entirety holds a total of 203vessels which includes six commercial boats and three charter boats.

 

Herring Run

Theriver herring harvest, possession and sale moratorium put in place three yearsago by the Division of Marine Fisheries will continue for another three years.The DMF Advisory Committee approved the continuation of the moratorium based onthe dearth of anadromous fish migrating up rivers in the state to spawningheadwaters. Director Paul J. Diodati implemented the additional three-year banas of Jan. 1, 2009, which includes those runs withinmunicipalities which have been granted local control by the state.

All available information indicatesthat the number of spawning river herring entering the runs in the spring of2009 remained well below average and mortality remained high. However, themoratorium appears to have helped stabilize the runs, although at lower levels.The number of spawning fish in our run showed a slight increase in 2009.  DMFofficials predict three more years of a moratorium will allow the maximumnumber of spawners to complete an entire life cycle, thus increasing theprobability of stock recovery.

TheNatural Resources Department along with our volunteerherring wardens were pleased to see a few strong days at the run this pastspring.

 

HerringCount

HarwichConservation Trust had thirty-plus volunteers on a fixed schedule for twomonths stationed at the point where herring enter Hinckley Pond.  Several timesa day volunteers would tabulate fish counts for a 10 minute period.  From thesecounts alone, over 2,000 fish were counted between April 1st andJune 1st.

 

Withthe help of many Americorps volunteers we kept the Herring River clear of debris and blockages.  Springdays were spent removing brush, and clearing debris that would slow themigration of herring to their eventual spawning area.

 

EelRamp

Theeel ramp project, the brain child of DMF employee Brad Chase and volunteerRichard Cooper is located off Bank Street and is managed byHarwich Conservation Trust. The invention is a low-tech, low-cost but highlyeffective ramp on private property, allowing young eels to wriggle up and overa flume to their freshwater destination. Many volunteers organized by Ryan Mann counted eels making their way into Grassy Pond in thespring. In 2008, more than 6,000 eels successfully migrated. In 2009, more than25,800 eels were counted making their way up an artificial mesh raceway intothe pond.  A small electric pump keeps the inclined ramp moist to help the slitheringeels pass from Cold Brook into the pond.  A new aluminum ramp replaced theprototype wooden structure and the name “eel-a-vator” stuck.  

 

Theproject proves that cranberry farming on a nearby private bog and eel migrationcan co-exist.  In general, declines of the eel, along with habitat disruption,have created opportunities to aid migration and survival of this uniquespecies. The eel ramp is only the second in Massachusetts.Almost all of the eels measure below the legal catch length of six inches. Theeels provide an important food source for a variety of wildlife, and willhopefully mature into spawning adults in the years to come. HarwichConservation Trust, the town, state and federal government are partners in thisproject

 

 

 

 

Beach Road

The Town continues to try andhelp a conflicting situation at Beach Road, a small neighborhood public beach off Shore Road where private abutters andneighbors skirmish over the legal width and size of the public area. Harwich has owned parcels of beach oneither side of Beach Road which has eroded back over time. Themajority of both parcels are now below the mean high water mark and theabutters on either side have made a claim prohibiting the town from placing anysand on their private beach as part of an effort to get this public beach back.It takes a Ch. 91 license to nourish below the mean high water mark.

 

The County Dredge supervisor has stated it isnot possible to put a quantity of material on a 40’ wide beach (a 30’ x 40’patch) without spilling onto the private beach or crossing them with the pipe. Alternatively,trucking sand is also impossible because of the narrow path leading to thebeach from the street and turning the loader around in a 30' area withoutcrossing onto the neighbors land. Neighbors on either side forbid us to placesand on the beach in front of their homes for fear that we will be causingpublic access or restoring the former public beach.

 

 

Infrastructurereport

Awaterfront infrastructure study by Coastal Engineering, Co., Inc has identifieda need for between $5.5 and $7.5 million in improvements over the next decade.The surprise in the report is the need for replacement of the Wychmere TownPier which is proposed for 2013 and estimated to cost $1.2 million. Wychmerepier was built around 1978 using bottom-driven piles and pre-cast concrete capsand decking. Coastal Engineering did an extensive study of the concrete at thepier, sending samples out to a New Hampshire-based company to examine thecondition of the concrete where saltwater has compromised the concrete causingit to crystallize.  The pier is in place primarily to serve the commercialfishermen. In December, the BOS voted that the pier may continue to beused on a limited basis provided the pier is monitored and limited to lightweight vehicles. This means the pier should be restricted to all largecommercial carrier-trucks. If necessary, the pier could continue to be used forpedestrian foot traffic, passenger and light vehicles (three-quarter ton singleaxle pick up trucks), but nothing greater.

The$50,000 draft report assessment identified needs along the waterfront over thenext decade. It recommends infrastructure repairs in several of the townharbors. The report also calls for replacement of the entire Wychmere Harbor bulkhead, an estimated cost of $189,700.

Thereport also mentions drainage as a major concern at Wychmere Harbor.  The current StormTreat system does notprovide an effective and efficient method to treat storm water. This finding isnot surprising since the StormTreat system was designed for freshwater and itgets inundated with saltwater because changes required in be located along theharbor bulkhead. A report done by Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, whichfunded the drainage system states the system was located in the wrong place, aninter-tidal zone.

Themost immediate project in the harbor capital planning program is replacing thebathhouse at Allen Harbor parking lot and the Wixon Pier at Herring River. An article has been placed in thewarrant for this purpose.

Thestudy identifies several locations where there is a need for bulkheadreplacement, including Saquatucket Harbor, Round Cove and new sheeting for Allen Harbor. Boat ramps are also identified forreplacement.  Allen Harbor at $282,000 and Herring River at $173,000.  The cost to replace thebulkhead would be $876,000 which is projected in 2016.

Theestimate for pier work on the east side of Saquatucket Harbor is $527,800 to replace the floatationfoam. Much more work is necessary on the infrastructure of those docks. We are hopingto replace floats with a fixed-dock T-section for more stability and to havethe floating wing sections extending off that dock. This is because FreedomCruise Line ferry passengers traverse those docks and the commercial fleetoperates at the end of those floats. That estimate could run more than $2million. The oldest of the docks in that harbor are 24 or 25 years old and weanticipate replacement on the east side in 2017 and then west side replacementafter that, estimated at $500,000 in the report.

Seaport Grant Application

TownPlanner David Spitz is working on a grant through the Seaport Bond Council forreconstruction of the Wychmere pier. Unfortunately, federal money is not expected until at least 2012. This application should also include the need to rebuildthe bulkhead drainage problem.  The hope is to get funding for one big projectso the town does not have to pay $1 million. There are some who feel Harwichmight be better served by changing the pier to a recreational marina. We do notwant to see it move away from what it truly is; a commercial fishing facility.The fishing community is not moving away.

 

COMMERCIAL VESSEL LANDING PERMITS

(by category)

 

Permit

Vessel

 

 

Permit

Vessel

 

A - 1

RESTLESS

Borraccino

 

T-001

BILLY BOY

Hobbs

A - 2

SEABAG III

Tomasian

 

T-002

BOUNTY HUNTER

Monte

A - 3

TUNA ECLIPSE

Barker

 

T-003

OUR TIME

Our

A - 4

TENACIOUS II

Hesse

 

T-004

SEA-VENTURE

Pratt

A - 5

SEAHOOK

LeGeyt

 

T-005

JACQUELINE

McMullen

A - 6

NEMESIS

Coccoro

 

T-006

HOOKIE

 Ingrano

A - 7

JOANNE H

Smith

 

T-007

SASHAMY

Amorello

A - 8

THREE SONS

Smith

 

T-008

JUSTIFIED

 Clark

A - 9

MY TWO GIRLS

Matulitis

 

T-009

DESTINY

Unanist

A - 10

KELLY J

Terrenzi

 

T-010

HANNAH G

Getto

A - 11

GREAT PUMPKIN

Margeson

 

T-014

MIDNIGHT RAMBLER

Noon

A - 12

SEA HOLLY II

Leach

 

T-015

M FLY

Fleisher

A - 13

JAIL BREAK

Muldoon

 

T-016

NIGHT HAWK

Smith

A - 14

PEGGY B II

Braun

 

T-017

TWENTY FIVE

Stevens

A - 15

HAYWIRE

Pistel

 

T-018

no name

Homan

A - 16

PETREL

Bunnell

 

T-019

MONSTA

Papa

A - 17

MARJORIE K

Barker

 

T-020

MICHAEL KEVIN

Pratt

A - 18

GODZILLA

Smith

 

T-021

BARONESS

Fernandes

A - 19

KINGFISHER

Rudders

 

T-022

SHADOW LINE

Maclean

A - 20

DANIELLE B

Hunt

 

T-023

LISA MARIE

Johannis

A - 21

SEA FROG

Tessier

 

T-024

MADELYN RUTH

Stepski

A - 22

SUE-Z

Traina

 

T-025

JAMIE CLAIRE

Waltsak

A - 23

KAREN S

Small

 

T-026

WATANYE

Ellis

A - 24

JESSIE

Menard

 

T-027

HOT TUNA

Ott

A - 25

ARLIE X.

Szado

 

T-028

CAPT COOK

 Wilson

A - 26

MISS JENNIFER

Demango

 

T-029

LADY MAUREEN

Carraro

A - 27

LEGEYT

LeGeyt

 

T-030

TENACIOUS

Coad

 

 

 

 

T-031

KELLY ANN

Dibacco

B-1

DECISIVE

Margeson

 

T-032

BAD INFLUENCE

Scanlon

B-2

LYNN & ME

Cordeiro

 

T-033

BARBARA O

Our

B-3

AVERY MARIE

Santoro

 

T-034

FISH TAILS

Wilmes

 

 

 

 

T-035

DIGGIN IT II

Zawisza

C - 2

MAGELLAN

Greiner

 

T-036

HALLE

Wentworth

C - 3

STRIPER

Luce

 

T-037

FATTY

Leduc

C - 5

TRAPANI

Foresman

 

T-038

CHRISTIE LYNN

Madagino

C - 6

FISH TALE

Terry

 

T-039

MY JOYCE II

Hejducek

C - 7

SABATICAL

Rice

 

T-040

CAROL W

Ward

C - 8

TAKE IT EASY

Biski

 

T-041

TUNA TANGLER TOO

Stern

C - 9

SHANTI

Birch

 

T-042

JAMIES TOY

Mancoso

C - 10

CAPT'N & TONAIRE

Brosnan

 

T-043

SHARON E

 Eshenfelder

 

 

 

 

T-044

CANYON RUNNER

DeBlasio

D - 1

CAPTAIN KID

Schoote

 

T-045

LADY ASHLEY

Cheney

D - 2

YANKEE

Kacergis

 

T-046

YANKEE

Verga

D - 3

FREEDOM

McMullen

 

T-047

ZOE

Bogis

D - 4

PRESEVERANCE

Spalt

 

T-048

GREYBACK

Coppola

 

 

 

 

T-049

JUSTIFIED

Neligon

 

 

 

 

T-050

ALLYSON

Mansfield

E-1

SEAWINN

Luce

 

T-051

MACHACA

Hatch

E-2

MICHELE

Queenan

 

T-052

TUNA TYEM

Tye

E-3

ZACHERY T

Barker

 

 

 

 

E-4

MATTANZA

Hesse

 

R-01

Briggs

Briggs

E-5

MILKWEED

Green

 

R-02

Andolini

Andolina

E-6

ALICIA-ANN

Walinski

 

R-03

The Dive Locker

 

 

 

 

ShellfishLaboratory

Withall the changes we have experienced recently in the Town, one thing hasremained fairly constant.  The shellfish laboratory located at Wychmere Harbor has been the home for juvenileshellfish, primarily quahogs for 17 years.   During that time, over 27 millionquahog seed have been grown in the lab.  The Natural ResourcesDepartment was however not immune to feeling the effects of the recent economicdownturn.  This was directly demonstrated by the amount of shellfish seedassistance obtained from the DMF/County Seed Grant Program.  It droppeddramatically this year to only 250,000 seed quahogs through their program. Next year does not look very good either. 

 

Wealso continued with our direct purchase of shellfish seed from (ARC) AquaculturalResearch Cooperation in Dennis.  Since the seed purchased from ARC directly(3-5mm) was a bit larger than the County Seed Grant Program (2-3mm) our overallaverage seed size at the end of the growing season was the largest to date.  Wehad excellent survival in the lab and the seed grew to an average of 13.7mm insize.

 

Theseresults were due in part by the care given to the seed by the summeraquaculture interns.  This was the 12th year that the HarwichShellfish Lab conducted its high school summeraquaculture internship program.  The six week program, managed by Heinz Proft, enabled students, Jackson VanDyck, BillRae, Colin Hamilton, and teaching supervisor Jill Eastman to work closely withthe Natural Resources Department to monitor and maintain theShellfish nursery during its’ busiest time.  The lab, open to the generalpublic, received over 400 visitors this year, bringing our total to over 5,000visitors in the past 12 years.  The shellfish from the lab were seeded in Herring River, Allen Harbor, Wychmere Harbor, Saquatucket Harbor, Pleasant Bay/Muddy Creek, and RoundCove. 

 

SeedTesting and Oysters

Ourseed continues to be tested prior to seeding (per order of the MassachusettsDivision of Marine Fisheries) for Dermo, QPX, and an array of other harmfulparasites.  Our seed was tested by Mirco Techonologies Inc. in Richmond Maine and received a clean bill of health.

 

Oysterswere once again grown in the shellfish lab (3-4mm).  These were also obtainedfrom ARC in Dennis.  Since the overwintering trays of 2008-2009 did not producethe results we had expected, this year 150,000 oysters were placed in a hanginglantern net under Wychmere Pier.  Raising oysters has required more work and time,but there is certainly a public interest in having more oysters available for shellfishing.

 

TheHarwich Natural Resources Department continues to receiveassistance with many of our projects from volunteers.  A great deal of thanksis extended to Bob Sarantis and John Reynders who spent yet another summer/falltending to the needs of the shellfish lab. 

 

Jim Coyle – 10 years

Topatrol the local shellfishing flats we again relied on the assistance providedby our dedicated group of volunteer shellfish wardens.  Special recognition isgiven to Jim Coyle since this year marked 10 years in hisvolunteer role as a Shellfish Warden.  Ron Saulnier and Dean Knight were also very generous with their timeand energy.   The assistance provided by our volunteer corps certainly makesthe Natural Resources Department a more efficient, moreproductive group.  We thank all our volunteers for their effort.

 

Shellfish Permits Sold in 2009 (CalendarYear)

 

Resident Family                     304      $4860

Non-Resident Family   48      $2730

Commercial                              5        $200

Seniors                                  109       $522

One-Day Non-Resident           41      $820

TOTAL                                 507      $9,132

 

Shellfish permit rates were changed inthe spring of 2009 and they are:

 

Resident Family                     $20/year

Non-Resident Family $60/year

Commercial                           $50/year

Seniors (65+)                        $  6/year

One-Day Non Resident         $20/year

 

Weasked shellfisherman to fill out a shellfishing survey when obtaining theirlicense at the Harbormaster’s office.  From those surveys we wereable to compile the following:

 

Average days someone went shellfishing in2008                         21 days

Average #buckets of quahogs taken in2008/person                 3.85 (10qts)   

Average #buckets of oysters taken in2008/person                    0.17 (10qts)

Average#buckets of softshells taken in 2008/ person               1.65 (10qts)

 

Note:When someone buys a permit we get the previous year’s survey results.  The 2009data will be available after everyone has purchased their 2010 license and willbe included in the next year’s town report.

 

Oyster CreekDredging

Agroup of neighbors, calling themselves Oyster Creek Preservation Inc., after many years ofdeliberation and review, obtained permission to dredge a small portion ofOyster Creek at Allen’s Harbor.  In September, a 700ft sectionof the creek was dredged in order to allow boat access through the creek at alltides.  Prior to the dredging, Cotuit Oyster Company removed shellfish,primarily quahogs, which were then relayed to other parts of Allen Harbor and Wychmere Harbor.  The harvesting, testing, and relay ofthe shellfish were all completed at no cost to the Town.

 

Therewill also be mitigation on the part of the Oyster Creek Homeowners that willinvolve reimbursing the Town for the cost of the shellfish removed andreseeding of Oyster Creek.  Although the Natural Resources Department wasnever in favor of the dredging proposal, in the end we tried to make the bestof a difficult situation which pitted an environmentally sensitive area againstnavigational needs.  Only time will tell what the full impact this has had onthe incredible family shellfishing area that is Oyster Creek.

 

 

 

Harwich WaterQuality Task Force (HWQTF)

 Localwater quality monitoring continued in Saquatucket Harbor, Wychmere Harbor, Allen Harbor, Herring River, and 12 freshwater ponds.  These areaswere sampled several times throughout the summer in order to continuecollecting reliable water quality for our database including nitrates,phosphates, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen levels, and fecal coliform levels.  Thewater sampling data is a critical component of the Mass Esturaine Program,Total Maximum Daily Load determination. The volunteer program not only providesthe data but is a significant cost savings to the four towns that participate.

 

Aproject of this magnitude could only be completed with the dedication of ourhard working volunteers – Norma Spignese, Ellen and Chris Geanacapoulos, Bud and Betsy Ferris, Bob Smith, Bill Otis, Chet Berg, JaneChase, Kathleen Welch, Anne Hynes, Lara Slifka, Ralph and JaneAnderson, Jack Lohr, Katie Mulhall, John Bitzer, PeterDeBakker, Tony and Marian Piro, Dave Mulligan, George Meyers, Janet DiBona, Patsy Lightbown, Art Winterhaltler, Julie Gammon, Paul Erickson, Mary Ann Jones, Deborah Aylesworth, Joe Seidel, Bill Clary, Walter Gonet, Ron Bellengi, Jay Kennedy, Richard and Nancy Gifford, AlAtkinson, Chuck Winans, Stan Kocot, Alan Young, Jim Brennan, Bill Myers, Ed McCarthy, Ray Sacramone, Connie Doherty, Bill Sliney, Mary and BobReynolds, Pete Watson, Terry Barry, Ted Janse, Mary Henry, Frank Sampson, Bob Sarantis, andBob Goodwin.

                                   

 TheHarwich Water Quality Task Force has a website – www.hwqtf.com.  It not only provides details about theprogram, interim reports, but aerial photos of the sampling ponds and datacollected up to this point as well.  Data and aerial photos, some of whichillustrate algal blooms, can be accessed via web links within the site.

 

Onebloom of special note occurred at the end of June in Hinckley Pond.  A cyanobacteria/blue-green algae bloom caused a closing of Hinckleypond to all water activity from June 26th though July 13th. Massachusetts Department of Public Health tested the pond waters and foundunhealthy levels of the algae.  This particular type of algae can produce atoxin which can be harmful to animals and humans especially if ingested. Information was disseminated through the Towns Emergency Management Directorand Health Director.  Although the bloom dissipated and HinckleyPond was open to all water activity again, the HWQTF is undertaking a furtherstudy of the pond to determine the possible causes of the bloom.

 

EnvironmentalScience Director

TheWater Quality Task Force (WQTF) has engaged in a major initiative to plan forthe Town’s water quality and future stormwater/wastewater needs.  The Town hasan ongoing Comprehensives Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP) under the directionof a professional water quality engineering firm, CDM.  Assistant Harbormaster/Natural Resources Officer HeinzProft was asked to take a greater role and work closely with the Chairman ofthe WQTF in directing and managing the contract and with CDM.  Heinz willcontinue with many of his previous responsibilities, but this expansion of hisduties has resulted in a revised title – Environmental Science Director.

 

TheTown will soon receive its nitrogen loading reports on its embayments from theUniversity of Massachusetts School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST).Receiving these reports is critical in planning and implementing an integratedwater quality program.

           

Pleasant Bay Alliance (PBA)

Harwichalso continued its’ water quality sampling as part of the Pleasant Bay ResourceManagement Alliance.  The Pleasant Bay Alliancehas curtailed its sampling somewhat and has reduced Harwich to 2 samplinglocations including Round Cove and Pleasant Bay.  Volunteers Tina Maloney, Walt McClean, Margaret and Rich Stenburg,and George Cooper were generous with their time and wethank them for their assistance.  The website for the program is www.pleasantbay.org

 

ThePleasant Bay Alliance has also undertaken a study tomodel the hydrodynamics of the Muddy Creek/Rt 28 culvert interface.  It appearsthat enlarging the diameter of the present culvert may bring significantadvantages with increased tidal flushing.

 

Asa result of a previous Pleasant Bay Watershed Study conducted by SMAST whichfocused on the current nitrogen load, fertilizer applications are now beingaddressed.  A technical study RFP was sent out with an overall goal to identifywhere management measures can be targeted to get the greatest nitrogen loadingreductions.  A reduction in fertilizer use can assist in meeting the overallload reduction goal in a cost effective manner in comparison to many of thewastewater management options.

 

Conservationistof the Year Award

HarwichConservation Trust honored the town of Harwich Department of Natural Resources with its Conservationist of the YearAward for outstanding contributions that have helped to protect the woods,water, wildlife, and quality of life in Harwich.

 

Amongother things the natural resources department has assisted or partnered with HCTto coordinate “citizen science” projects including, eel migration ramp projectand the first annual Herring Count in 2009. Tom Leach leads astronomy walks at the 60-acreBank Street Bogs Nature Preserve (located next to the harbormaster’s workshop).Heinz Proft, who holds a private pilot’s license, donated a scenic flight tosupport HCT and led a presentation about the townshellfish lab in Wychmere Harbor. The natural resources department hasissued grant support letters for multiple HCT and town land acquisition projects, andcoordinates the pond monitoring program with Frank Sampsonand the Harwich Water Quality Task Force. The Department was given a beautifulframed print of Herring River, which is proudly on display at Town Hall.

 

We cannot thank our entiredevoted staff enough for their dedication and hard work.  Michelle Morris especially deservesrecognition for her ability to handle the ever increasing responsibilities ofmanaging the harbor.  Her professional attitude and patience have been criticalin dealing with the continuously changing deadlines, rate changes, slipreassignments, and berthing requests.  It is quite impressive considering thedeluge of paperwork that it takes to keep Saquatucket Harbor Municipal Marina,our waterfront and Natural Resources Department up and running. We also want to thank our summer team Peter Sawyer, Tim Adams, Richard King, Matt O’Brien, SteveBickerton, Frank Kunz, Jim Coyle and Ryan Mann for making the 2009 season agreat one.

Respectfully, 

Thomas E. Leach, BS, CHM    Harbormaster/ Natural Resources Director

Heinz M. Proft, BS, MS    Assistant/Environmental Science Director

 

 

 

All Department Videos from 2010

Boat Ramp Ready 1/07/10
Wychmere Winter Panorama 12/22/09
Winter Storm Drive 12/20/09
Dolphin Stranding 12/14/09
Buoy Wrestling 12/14/09
Boat Ramp Project Moving Along 12/11/09
Harbormaster Ipod Ap 12/12/09
Moon over Harwich, Mass 12/09/09
Big Tide Harwich Port 12/03/09
Shellfishing Update 12/01/09
Boat Ramp Project Underway 11/25/09
Boat Ramp Project Coffer 11/18/09
Seeding Herring River 10/30/09
Stolen Boat Trailer 11/15/09
Boat Ramp Replacement 10/30/09
North Beach Camp Gone 9/22/09
Dredging Oyster Creek 10/03/09
Tom visits Nantucket Lightship 9/10/09
Saquatucket Slide Show
Great blacks off Cape Cod 9/11/09
Tagging Shark out of Harwich Port 9/11/09
Algae Bloom Closes Pond 6/27/09
Block Island Race 6/22-6/27
Allen Harbor Bar Dredged (06/16/09)
Allen Harbor Sandbar (06/09/09)
Bird Nests in Docks (05/29/09)
D Y vs Harwich Sailing (05/21/09)
Deploying Channel Markers (05/13/09)
Yellow Perch Die Off (05/12/09)
Tug and Barge underway (05/12/09)
Driving a fiberglass pile (05/06/09)
AGM Marine Drives Pilings (05/06/09)
Atlantic Ave gets sand (05/06/09)
Codfish nourishes beaches (04/30/09)
Extreme Low Tide Issues (04/29/09)
Trench digging at Bulkhead (04/27/09)
Herrring begin to run (04/24/09)
Dropping in the Buoys (04/14/09)
Removing sand with a pump (04/14/09)
Alewive Monitoring Meeting (03/30/09)
Elver Ramp Monitor Meeting (04/03/09)
Harwich vs. Chatham Sailing (03/31/09)
Clearing Skinequit Run (03/30/09)
Boathouse Gets A Lift (03/19/09)
Shipwreck II (03/12/09)
Shipwreck at Nauset (03/08/09)
March Gale (03/02/09)
Phragmites Floating Island (02/24/09)
Looking for Volunteers (02/23/09)
Skate Safe Long Pond (01/27/09)
Winter Beach Red River (01/23/09)
Snowsqual in Town (01/15/09)
A Pleasant Boat Ride (01/14/09)