Chatham Selectmen Oyster Pond Shark Safety Discussion

CHATHAM – Selectmen in Chatham continue to discuss possible safety improvements at Oyster Pond Beach.

Town Meeting voters narrowly rejected an article earlier this month that would have funded a feasibility study for a possible barrier or shark detection system at the beach used for youth swimming lessons.

The $100,000 article was defeated by just a single vote, 113-112.

During a Board of Selectmen meeting this week, Selectman Peter Cocolis asked if there was anything that could be done at Oyster Pond to improve safety.

Selectman Jeffrey Dykens was a proponent of the funding article and believes it is important for the town to have a beach safe from seals and sharks.

“I do think it is important for the Town of Chatham to be able to promote a beach that is safe,” Dykens said.

Selectmen Chair Shareen Davis recommended increasing beach and harbormaster patrols at other town beaches similar to those conducted at Lighthouse Beach.

“I think the increase of harbor patrols might be a really good presence to have,” Davis said.

Davis said increased patrols could make residents and visitors feel more comfortable.

Town Manager Jill Goldsmith said the town will also provide extra life guards and radio communications at Oyster Pond.

Goldsmith said the town is also working to put together all of its shark safety efforts in one document for residents and visitors.

A regional shark safety study is currently underway, but it is not expected to be completed until after the summer season. The study will also not provide recommendations for specific beaches.


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