Chappaquiddick Is Laboratory for Study of Erosion

Wasque Point, the popular fishing spot at the eastern tip of the Island has been the subject of ongoing study in recent years, as wind, waves and tides create one of the most dynamic coastal systems in the state.

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Bluefish Are Running, and Scene at Wasque Is Return to the Old Days

Last weekend, dozens of surfcasters at Wasque Point could hardly believe their luck. The water churned with bluefish as fishermen reeled in catch after catch. “Some of the best fishing days I’ve ever had,” said Wayne Smith, an avid surfcaster.

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Land Meets Land; Norton Point Breach Closes

As of early in the morning on April 2, Chappaquiddick was no longer an island completely separated from Martha’s Vineyard. Nearly eight years after a northeaster cut a breach in the three-mile barrier beach that connects Edgartown with the smaller island, the Norton Point breach had closed.

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MVC Hears Unorthodox Plan to Reverse Erosion at Wasque
Can severe erosion be slowed at the easternmost tip of Chappaquiddick? Mal Jones of West Tisbury has a concept he believes will work, by sinking a 190-foot barge in the water offshore.
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Relocation of Main Schifter House is Complete

After several days of inching forward along a deep, wide sandy trench, a Chappaquiddick home arrived late Tuesday at its new location farther away from a rapidly eroding bluff.

It’s been less than a year since emergency actions began to save the Wasque home of Richard and Jennifer Schifter. The key part of the project came this week with the move of the 8,300-square-foot main house.

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History and Science Tell of Cycles of Rapid Erosion at Wasque Point
On a misty, windy morning in April 2007 Chris Kennedy, Martha’s Vineyard superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations, had just returned from the part of South Beach in Edgartown known as Norton Point. The night before Katama Bay had filled to overflowing by the flood of an astronomical high tide, topped off by the overwash and storm surge of a Patriots’ Day gale.
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Beware Shortsighted Answer to Erosion
When George Santayana wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” he was not envisioning people repeating their own mistakes. But that is what is transpiring at Wasque Point on Chappaquiddick this spring. In 2007 the Schifter family completed a large house about 300 feet from the bluff edge. Six years later, with the house poised to fall into the ocean, they are proposing to move it about 300 feet from the edge while damaging the environment and native artifacts and disrupting users of this magnificent landscape.
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Urgency Increases as Schifter Red Tape Piles Up

Plans to move a Chappaquiddick home threatened by erosion became more urgent this week, after last week’s nearly-three-day storm brought the coastal bank 11 feet closer to Richard and Jennifer Schifter’s Wasque Point home. But as waves continue to eat away at the waterfront property, the drama of the house move has extended into now weekly meetings at Edgartown town hall, where the house faces regulatory, logistical, and environmental concerns from town officials and neighbors.

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As Plan Unfolds to Move House at Wasque Point, Trustees Have Concerns

While elaborate plans continue to unfold for moving a large Chappaquiddick house, the Edgartown conservation commission is grappling with a new issue: whether actions taken to stem the erosion can continue after the house is moved.

For months, the situation unfolding at Wasque Point where a rapidly eroding coastal bluff is swiftly approaching an 8,800-square-foot house, has captivated the Island.

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Possible Shipwreck Remnants Discovered

Shifting sand at both Wasque and Lucy Vincent Beach has uncovered what may be parts of two shipwrecks.

Last Sunday afternoon, Andrew Orcutt of Edgartown and Albany was out walking the shoreline near Wasque and the Norton Point breach. He discovered remnants of what appeared to be a ship in the wash.

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