Orleans Looks to Slow Erosion at Nauset Beach

KA_Orleans_Nauset Beach_Snow Flurries_Winter_021216066ORLEANS – The town of Orleans has a decision to make on the future of Nauset Beach.

A recent study was completed which found the rate of erosion at the beach has increased drastically from just over 2 feet per year from 1868 to 1994.

“Between 1994 and 2015, the rates we are calculating now are 12 feet per year,” said Leslie Fields, a coastal geologist for the Woods Hole Group.

The current dune is 80 feet wide and if no action is taken and current erosion rates remain the same the dune could be down to 20 feet wide by 2020.

The seaward toe of the dune would be at the current edge of the parking lot by 2025, according to Fields.

“By 2035, the dune would be somewhere, approximately, in the middle of the parking lot,” Fields said. “This is all if you do nothing. If you just let the site respond naturally.”

A recommendation to slow down the current rate of erosion would be to build another dune behind the existing dune.

The cost of the project would be about $1.2 million and Fields warned that similar work could have be done again about 5 years later.

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