A dredge, a crane, a municipal agreement that crosses town boundaries and two nesting piping plovers with their own set of boundaries: an emergency effort to dredge the channel at Lake Tashmoo this summer has rapidly become a logistical and bureaucratic tangle worthy of a Rube Goldberg drawing.

Due to lapsed permits, the channel was not dredged last fall or winter and is now impassable for some boats at low tide. Tisbury harbor master John Crocker updated the town selectmen about the problem early this summer. Mr. Crocker said there was still a possibility that at least the channel could be cleared of some sand before fall, and that he had approached the town of Edgartown about the use of its dredge.

Selectmen were supportive and the Edgartown selectmen subsequently pledged their cooperation as well.

Then the logistical issues began piling up.

First there is the issue of getting the Edgartown dredge into the water.

The 30-ton apparatus is currently being stored in the Edgartown town barn, its off-season home. To get the it into the sea, a crane and a tractor trailer (with counterweights in tow) will have to be hired from off-Island, according to Juliet Mulinare, the Edgartown procurement officer. Due to their extraordinary weights, the two vehicles would have to take separate ferries. Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande said he had been in touch with Steamship Authority general manager Robert Davis to make those arrangements if the time comes.

Together, the crane and tractor trailer would hoist and tow and hoist again, ultimately placing the Edgartown dredge into Katama Bay.

The crane rental alone would cost about $12,000, Ms. Mulinare said. It is unclear whether the dredge would remain in the water until fall, the start of regular dredging season, or whether the crane and tractor trailer would have to make a second, equally expensive trip to put the dredge back in the town barn to wait out the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Also, because the dredge has no propulsion mechanism of its own, it would have to be towed from Katama to Tashmoo.

Donnie Benefit, the Edgartown dredge operator, is a commercial fisherman who said he would lose money by taking time out to do the channel in July — but he is willing to do it anyway.

“I don’t like going to meetings,” Mr. Benefit said. “I told them I was going to do it and that was the end of that.”

But before any of those arrangements can be made, the two towns will need to sign an interim municipal agreement. The Edgartown dredge committee was due to meet Thursday to review a draft agreement outlining the costs and terms.

Other issues include determining how much Edgartown would charge Tisbury, which town will hire the crane, and whether the crane work would need to be put out to bid. Putting the work out to bid would require two weeks of advertising in local papers.

“It is so complicated,” Ms. Mulinare said.

Assuming an agreement can be drafted and a crane found, another potential obstacle involves a piping plover nest on the beach on the west side of the channel. Dredging is prohibited in areas that might disrupt plover nests or endanger their chicks.

Two different environmental groups monitor plover nests on either side of the channel.

Suzan Bellincampi, executive director of the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary who monitors the east side of the channel, said the beach there has no nests — at least for now.

But Luanne Johnson of BiodiversityWorks, who monitors the west side of the channel, said two plovers have built a nest there.

“They have lost two nests to crow predation this season,” Ms. Johnson said this week. “They’re on their third try, and I’m doing everything I can to make sure they’re successful.”

She said the nest is far enough away from the channel to be safe from the dredge spoils (she declined to disclose the exact location to protect the plovers). But once the eggs hatch, dredge spoils and roving front end loaders could endanger wandering chicks.

Ms. Johnson said the eggs incubate for 26 days, with chicks expected to hatch between July 15 and 17.

Mr. Benefit estimated dredging the channel would take three to four days, putting the necessary start date around July 11 (barring the return of the crows). It all adds up to a small window of time to sign an agreement and reserve a crane.

Meanwhile, some mariners at Tashmoo are baffled over the stalled dredging work. “It’s shocking given, well here are the boats,” said Dietra Litt, gesturing from the Lake street landing at the dozens of vessels moored in the saltwater lake. She said she and her husband had moored their boat in Tashmoo for the past 30 years. “What’s changed? I missed the memo,” she said.

“Three or four weeks ago, I said do it now,” said Kevin Nagle. His Bristol 32 sailboat draws four feet seven inches.

“Low tide in there is a problem,” he said. “I’ve gone through a few times, but I’ve been reluctant to try at low tide.”

Mr. Nagle said he was especially worried about newcomers unfamiliar with the area.

But Mr. Crocker said while one boat ran aground last month, he hasn’t received another call since.

“And there have been a lot of boats in there and some very large boats,” the harbor master said.

Lake Tashmoo, which has not been fully dredged since 2014, will almost certainly be done this fall, potentially with the help of the Edgartown dredge, Mr. Crocker said. But for now, hopes for a July dredging miracle are still alive.

“I’ve come to a few conclusions,” Mr. Crocker said. “One of them is nothing is easy.”