One of the major tasks of the beach management plan is to be sure the sand stays on the beach. This past winter, the plan has been marginally working. The grasses, due to the cool, wet spring are growing strong. The dunes, doing their job, have grown a bit taller.
On the downside, the beach itself appears to have lost over 70 feet. Where last summer the beach extended well past the breakwater at Madison, the bay has now reclaimed the section for itself.
The large parabolas, which are a trademark of the breakwater function, have once again carved out big chunks of the beach.
Much of the sand appears to have shoaled back into the bay, making the beach even more embarrassingly shallow. Tourists can be heard snickering about the absurdly low, ankle deep water.
If the current beach management plan is about building up the dunes, then it is working. If it is about maintaining a beach large enough to handle the slathering onslaught of summer visitors, then there is some work to do.
Trucking in sand is not really an answer; that never works. The town also can’t wait for USACE to dredge the harbor every 15 or 20 years. While expensive, a dredging operation every 2 or 3 years, pumping the sand that has shoaled back onto the beach, may be something to consider.
As the town continues to push for more and more people to come here, a sliver of a beach isn’t going to cut it.