Dredging Nauset Estuary

Dredging Nauset Estuary

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Friends Of Nauset Estuary started this petition to Eastham Selectboard

Nauset Estuary is located on the backside of Cape Cod, split between the towns of Eastham and Orleans. Its salt marshes serve as one of the most important marine nurseries on the outer cape, serving as breeding grounds for striped bass, flounder, baitfish, and shellfish, such as oysters and quahogs. In the last 25 years, Nauset Inlet has been getting increasingly shallower, with smaller channels and restricted water flow. The shoaling in the channel is exacerbated by a failed dune restoration project in the 70s-80s, which resulted in a storm washing thousands of yards of sand into the main channel, interrupting the natural flow of the environment. The marine life within the estuary that would normally enjoy deep water is met by a mile of shoals and sandbars preventing them from reaching safe inner harbor waters and spawning areas. Less tidal flow has caused coves, creeks, and salt marshes to stagnate, allowing poisonous algae blooms to flourish.  Not only has this gradual change devastated the environment but it has threatened the livelihood of hundreds of town residents.

The dredging project plans to safely remove the sediment that has restricted the water flow to the marsh and estuary, and in the process remove some of the poisonous red tide algae cysts buried in the sediment. This will open up the channels around the marsh to allow cleaner water to circulate throughout the marsh and revive stagnant areas. We need people to voice their support for continuing environmental studies and permitting for this project. The Eastham Selectboard is trying to unfairly block the town of Orleans from continuing on this project and saving our beloved estuary. Please send a brief statement of your support for saving this estuary to Town Administrator Jacqueline Beebe at (https://www.eastham-ma.gov/user/78/contact

Thank you for your help saving our beaches and estuaries! 

 

 

 

 

 

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