Plan Proposed to Fix Erosion at Red River Beach Jetty

HARWICH – The Town of Harwich is seeking a solution to an on-going erosion issue on the backside of the Red River Beach jetty.

In the last several years, so-called “soft solutions” have been employed by the town to deal with erosion, however officials say with the end of the jetty slumping, vegetative dune eroding and a paved vehicle turn-around being threatened, a more permanent solution is needed.

“Currently what we’re doing is routinely placing sand, it protects the turn-around and parking area but it is gathering in the mouth of the river,” said Harwich Conservation Agent Amy Usowski. “So we’re doing a soft solution which is what the EP (Department of Environmental Protection) wants us to do, but I think it’s having a more detrimental effect to the area there.”

Usowski’s proposed project aims to shore up the backside of the jetty.

“Our proposal is to extent the revetment landward 50-60 feet, hugging the banking, repair the slumped portion of the existing end. We would maintain public access to the area just as there is now, there would be a path down to the little beach area,’ Usowski said.

The town has reserved $100,000 in its capital plan for several years, but Usowski is proposing to use Community Preservation Act funds for the job.

The project has the support of the Harwich Recreation Association and Capital Overlay Commission, and once refined will be placed in front of the town’s Conservation Commission.

If approved and passed by voters at town meeting, and if it meets state and local regulations, the project could get underway as soon as the fall of 2019.

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