Hottest Commodity for Sale? Try Sand from Sengekontacket
Jim Hickey

It fills your shoes, ruins the kitchen floor in the summer and gets in your food at picnics.

But whoever thought of sand as a commodity?

On the Vineyard sand is emerging as exactly that, right up there with gold futures and pork bellies, as towns and private groups compete to get their hands on the stuff to use as ammunition in their ongoing battle against erosion.

The value of sand has skyrocketed, and given all the predictions that global warming will cause a rise in sea levels, it’s unlikely to come down anytime soon.

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Big Dig at Edgartown Beach Near Complete
Mark Alan Lovewell

Dredging is nearly complete at the Joseph Sylvia State Beach. For much of the fall, the Edgartown dredge has been pumping sand out of Sengekontacket, deepening a channel on the Oak Bluffs side, with the spoils trucked to Cow Bay for beach nourishment.

Norman Rankow, chairman of the dredge committee, said last week that the work in the area is winding down. The dredge will be removed from the pond probably by mid-January.

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Sengekontacket Reopens For Summer Shellfishing
Sara Brown

For the first time in five years, parts of Sengekontacket Pond will be open for shellfishing, at least through June. In July, August and Sepetmber the current plan calls for possible closures following periods of heavy rainfall, but otherwise the same parts of the pond now designated as safe for shellfishing will be kept open.

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