National Seashore Cleans Up from Winter as Summer Approaches

CCB MEDIA PHOTO George Price, superintendent at Cape Cod National Seashore

George Price, superintendent at Cape Cod National Seashore

PROVINCETOWN – With the arrival of summer around the corner, Cape Cod National Seashore staff are still working to recover from the effects of winter.

The federal government has approved emergency funding for repairs to the steps at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham, which were destroyed for the third summer in a row, and for repairs to the north parking lot at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown.

Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price said damage to seashore property occurred not just this past winter but over the last few seasons.

Price said he hopes to have the Nauset Light Beach stairs reconstructed by early June but the repairs at Herring Cove may take longer to repair.

Price calls it “expendable construction,” because the stairs have to be replaced with such frequency.

“There’s a high expectation they’ll be gone [next winter],” he said.

He said the Seashore is looking at building retractable stairs that can be removed before the winter and reinstalled in the spring, but there are issues with that solution as well.

Because of safety standards, the stairway has to be, as Price put it, “pretty substantial.”

The other issue is the eroding bluff. “We lost about 18 feet of the bluff,” Price said.

There is also the issue of the bathhouse at Nauset Light. The 1960s bath facilities are not too far from the eroding bluff and they need to be moved to the Ocean View Drive side of the parking lot.

“Basically, it’s adapting and trying to put in facilities that will have the best long-term chance of sustainability over time,” he said.

The bathhouse at Herring Cove has recently been redone, and Price said he believes the new bathhouse, which was moved away from the eroding bluff, has about a 50-year lifespan.

But beyond that, the facility is built in a modular design in four or five pieces and so if it needs to be moved back again in 50 years, it can be dismantled and moved without as much cost.

Listen below to Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price discuss the effects of erosion on the Seashore.


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