Superintendent Carlstrom Presents First ‘State of the Seashore’

Brian Carlstrom, new CCNS Superintendent

WELLFLEET – The new superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore is reflecting on his first year on the job.

Brian Carlstrom said his first summer season was a memorable experience which was dominated by great white shark activity, including two attacks.

In August, a New York man was bitten off Truro and is recovering. The next month, Arthur Medici, of Revere, died from wounds suffered at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet.

Carlstrom said the seashore is working closely with the entire Cape Community on generating more education on “Shark Smart” tips and resources.

“We are also going to be working to try and improve first response techniques so that the general public is better informed with “stop the bleed” by applying tunicates and hemostatic bandages,” Carlstrom said.

There is also an effort underway to improve communications at the 28 different beach access points at the National Seashore.

Another theme discussed by Carlstrom was work done to provide visitor access, including the successful opening of the Nauset Light Beach trail and the start of construction for a new Herring Cove Beach North Parking Lot.

Carlstrom said the new Marconi Beach stairs worked well for a few months before again getting washed away by regular high tide cycle in September.

“We are working towards replacing those for next year,” he said.

The National Seashore also debuted its new park film “Standing Bold” in June.

“That is the first time we have had an updated orientation film for the seashore in about 20 years,” Carlstrom said.

The film can be viewed at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham or the Province Lands Visitor’s Center in Provincetown.

National Seashore officials are also happy with the upgrades made at the Province Lands Visitor’s Center, which debuted in April. Upgrades include new exhibits and a reconfiguration of the book store.

A personal highlight for the year for Carlstrom was the performance by the Cape Symphony Orchestra at the recently renovated amphitheater at the Salt Pond Visitor Center.

Looking into the future Carlstrom would like to see transportation infrastructure improvements.

Carlstrom is hoping for improvements to beach access at Nauset Light Beach which has an eroding parking lot. He said there is also room at the Highland Center for expanded transportation features with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.

Work will also be done to continue to strengthen relationships with the individual towns as the status of the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission remains in limbo. Legislation authorizing the board recently expired and another 10-year authorization must be approved by Congress.

The National Seashore is losing an average of three feet of coastline every year, and up to 40 feet in some places depending on wave action, how the offshore bar is set up and the intensity of storms.

In a response the National Seashore is implementing a “Retreat and Rebuild” strategy.

“It’s highly complex in its implementation and takes into account a lot of technical data, a lot of environmental data, and a lot of highly evolved engineering techniques to implement,” Carlstrom said.

The construction of the new Herring Cove Beach parking lot is an example of the strategy. The new lot will be built behind the dune line and elevated five feet from the current lot.

The lot is expected to be completed by next summer.

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