erosion Point Beach Long

Two Cottages Near Stonewall Beach Become Cliffhangers After Tropical Storm Irene; Emergency Move Approved

The Chilmark Conservation Commission issued an emergency work certificate this week for two perilously-perched cottages on the cliffs of Stonewall Beach, fearing if they are not moved back from the edge they will fall into the ocean.

Natalie Conroy’s two small cottages on her property off State Road in Chilmark must be moved after tropical storm Irene stripped off 10 feet of cliff where the structures stand.

Wasque low tide beach

Storm Causes Heavy Erosion From Chappy to Great Rock Bight, Especially at Wasque

While tropical storm Irene did little damage inland save a good salt blasting and natural pruning of trees, the storm drastically reshaped parts of the Island’s coastline when it blew through last Sunday. At Wasque Reservation on Chappaquiddick, 22 feet of south-facing beach fell into the ocean in a 24-hour period. And around the Island conservation officials reported significant losses of beachfront and dramatically altered shorelines. Beaches that were wide ribbons of sand just last week are now nothing but rocks and boulders, and vice versa.


Lawmakers Weigh Property Rights on Ponds

A bill which has been quietly making its way through the state house could dramatically affect the future ownership of some of the Vineyard’s pristine barrier beaches, moving them from private hands to public.

The bill, which consists of just a single paragraph, relates to the barrier beaches that separate the Island’s Great Ponds from the ocean. Many of these beaches are privately owned and also are retreating into the ponds as they are eroded on their seaward side.

Living Local’s Meaty Side • Endlessly Changing Shoreline

Living Local’s Meaty Side

The recent move by the Island Grown Initiative and the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society to form a partnership to consider construction of a facility where Vineyard farmers can have their sheep, cattle and pigs safely, humanely and cleanly converted to cuts of meat for sale and home use is encouraging.


Planks Exposed Amid Wash of Memories


I remember jumping off the old little wooden bridge that used to cross over to get to the beach by Young’s old house. Also digging the best steamers in that little waterway.

— Polly Pease


Ferocious Erosion Sees Shoreline Shapeshifting

Three days ago, The Trustees of Reservations staff removed the last of the big old telephone poles delineating the parking lot at Wasque Point on Chappaquiddick, lest they lose them to the sea.

A week or so from now, the remaining half of the parking lot will probably be gone; the shoreline at Wasque has retreated almost 100 feet since early November, and continues to erode at a rate of about one foot per day.

How long might this go on?


Wasque Away Again

Shoreline change is a dynamic process, especially at Wasque, the southern part of Chappaquiddick, owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations. This shoreline is very dynamic, sometimes accreting rapidly and sometimes eroding rapidly. Wasque is now eroding rapidly — parking lots have eroded away this winter, leaving an almost unrecognizable beach. What is going on? Why is it eroding so much now? There are several factors that explain this change.


Severe Coastal Erosion Collapses Cliff, Creating Hazards at Lucy Vincent

As the Atlantic Ocean continues its assault on the south-facing shoreline of the Vineyard, Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark has been turned into a hazard zone, its once-broad sweep of sand now chewed away by ocean waves and littered with pieces of collapsed cliff.

“The conditions are extremely dangerous, even for an experienced person like myself,” said Chilmark beach superintendent Martina Mastromonaco yesterday. “I think my biggest concern right now is keeping people away from the area.”

Town May Take Ownership of Fragile East Chop Bluff

Oak Bluffs town officials have entered negotiations with the East Chop Association to take ownership of the coastal bluff on scenic East Chop Drive, following a report which concluded the slope is in danger of imminent failure.

The takeover plan is still in the very early stages, but those on both sides of the negotiations believe transferring ownership of the East Chop bluff to the town is the only way to secure state and federal funding for repairs of the fragile coastal bank.

Eroding Bluff Threatens Scenic Drive Along East Chop; Repairs Are Needed

An engineering report examining the stability of scenic East Chop Drive in Oak Bluffs concludes the fragile coastal slope is extremely unstable and showing signs of distress and imminent failure.

The eight-page draft report from the firm of Stearns and Wheler recommends that the town repair the bluff as quickly as possible by both reshaping the coastal bank and installing stabilizing materials such as a concrete block system, heavy riprap, sheet piling or a specially designed mechanically stabilized earth wall.