State Grant Funding to Aid Chatham in Shoreline Study

CHATHAM – The town of Chatham is moving forward with a study of its east-facing shoreline to help inform future management after receiving state support.

The town was recently awarded more than $182,000 in grant funding from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Office of Coastal Zone Management for the study which will develop a sophisticated hydrodynamic model of Chatham Harbor, Pleasant Bay and areas to the south to look at how waters are flowing in and out of the system of inlets.

“I think it will be a very important study and will generate a lot of very useful information,” said Ted Keon, the town’s Coastal Resources Manager.

The $250,000 study will support a detailed analysis of potential management options that could sustain the east-facing Chatham shoreline over the next few decades.

“Nature will do what it does as she always has,” Keon said. “I think it will really provide, nonetheless, sort of some good guidance and a gross level planning of where we should really focus our resources and attention and plan accordingly.”

A series of brutal winter storms lead to substantial flooding and erosion in the area.

Keon said last winter was pretty tough along the eastern side of Massachusetts.

“A lot of communities had issues with the January storm and then the series of March storms,” Keon said. “And it really highlighted, for us, some of the issues that we are dealing with.”

Areas of Chatham saw flooding for the first time in about three decades.

Changes to the northern inlet into Chatham Harbor also exposed some of the northern portions of Chatham to a different situation, including wave climate and tidal changes.

Keon said the results of the study will be valuable and will determining where future dredging projects should be conducted, along with the best areas to place the dredged material.

The study will be completed by the end of next June.

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