Army Corps of Engineers Links Canal to Erosion in Sandwich

SANDWICH – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has formally told the Sandwich Board of Selectmen that jetties along the Cape Cod Canal have played a major role in the rapid erosion of the town’s beaches.

Project Manager for the Army Corps of Engineers’ New England District Michael Riccio presented findings from their 111 Study.

Their research, which was aided by the Woods Hole Group, has shown that over a foot of shoreline is being lost at Town Neck Beach each year.

“What we calculated was roughly 78% of the erosion, based on this specific exercise, would be directly attributable to the canal,” Riccio explained.

In response, the Army Corps has recommended that $12.5 million worth of sand be brought from Scusset Beach to fill the Town Neck Beach shore.

More than 750,000 cubic yards of sand have been lost over the past half century at Town Neck Beach according to the study, and if action isn’t taken, Riccio added that the erosion could accelerate to even greater levels.

“It would be projected that another 900,000 would be lost in the next 50 years,” Riccio said.

388,000 cubic yards of Scusset Beach sand would be dredged in a process that the Army Corps has recommended as a realistic and effective solution.

More sand could be required at the beach in the future, however, and public comment on the matter is expected to be scheduled.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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