What viewscapes do you prefer? What recreational activities do you currently engage in within the Herring River estuary? How might your activity preferences change given the restored conditions? Are you concerned about current safety conditions at the Chequessett Neck Road dike? These and other questions are part of a new community survey of property owners, residents, and visitors to the Herring River estuary.
There are many ways to take the survey. The survey is available
online and paper copies are also available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be two virtual presentations and polling events:
Wednesday, August 12th at 2:00 pm and Monday, August 17th at 6:30 pm. Visit our website for information about how to participate in these events.
To select the best way to start the reintroduction of salt water, various project objectives are evaluated. The objectives include biological concerns like water quality and habitat changes, along with other public interest topics, like recreation and the visual appearance of the river. Predictions about how restoring the river affects each of the objectives come from a variety of sources depending on the objective. These include computerized models, expert judgements from scientists, and public surveys like this one. All of this information is compiled and analyzed to identify which management option of reintroducing salt water provides the highest expected benefit for all of the objectives combined.
Public Water Access is Prominent in Chequessett Neck Road Bridge Design
The new Chequessett Neck Road Bridge features fishing/viewing platforms on either side, a sidewalk on the river side, an ADA-accessible path from a nearby parking area to the water, and stairs for safe portage over the bridge. This rendering shows the bridge facing north, with Wellfleet Harbor on the right.
The new Chequessett Neck Road bridge will restore and enhance waterway access between Wellfleet Harbor and the Herring River. Current conditions at the dike include strong currents near the tide gates and lack of a clear path to the water. These conditions pose safety concerns for kayakers and canoers. With the new bridge in place, hand-carried craft suited to the river will have safe portage between Wellfleet Harbor and 6 miles of river waterways. A new parking area at Duck Harbor Road will include a handi-capped accessible path from the parking lot to the water.
Town of Wellfleet and Project partners identified public water access as a significant design objective early on, in light of the importance the area holds for shellfishing, fishing, birding and kayaking. The bridge design will enhance opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing over a diversity of restored wetland and open-water habitats. These activities are important to local residents, and also boost tourism which accounts for nearly $11 million annually to the local community and supports many seasonal and year round jobs.
Permitting Progress Continues
The Cape Cod Commission voted to grant Development of Regional Impact approval to Phase 1 of the Herring River Restoration Project on June 11th, marking the first environmental permit approval.
Work is ongoing in the development of subsequent permit applications to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, US Army Corps of Engineers and Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management. The filing of those permit applications is anticipated by the end of the calendar year.
Friends of Herring River Awarded Grant From National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Friends of Herring River was awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) FY19 National Coastal Resilience Program. The grant will be used to finalize Phase 1 design and engineering plans and permitting, and to complete the adaptive management plan.
In making the award, NFWF recognized the unique opportunity to restore an extensive coastal river and salt marsh ecosystem to reclaim important ecological, social, and economic benefits, including risk reduction from future coastal storms.
NFWF is a national organization involving leading U.S. corporations and the federal agencies, nonprofits and individuals, and is dedicated to sustaining, restoring and enhancing the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations.