Report of the Town of Harwich

Natural Resources Department 1983


To the Honorable Board of Selectmen and Citizens of the Town of Harwich:


What Cape town has given more in the spirit of promoting the sea and its opportunity than Harwich? Each year as our Town flourishes we find we are more and more cramped for boating space both recreational and commercial. We have made strides to add slips and create better off-loading sites, yet our waiting lists grow in length and time. Our original settlers would be awed by what has become of Harwich but after a town has given its all what more can it give.


Channel dredging operations were completed at Wychmere Har­bor entrance channel (cost $5,000) and Round Cove Channel (cost $8,200). Both operations were sorely required. Wychmere channel provided clean sand which was spread in an area protecting the com­fort station at Red River Public Beach.


With an eye toward added revenue a new ramp fee was in­stituted at Saquatucket boat ramp with State Public Access Board ap­proval. The new fee for one day ramp use between Memorial Day and Labor Day is $1.00 for vehicles with Beach or Disposalarea stickers and $2.00 without stickers. This new system requires all traf­fic to pass in front of the marina office where the fee can be paid. In this way no new personnel were required. First year receipts generated $2,800.


1983 was also the first year of a new mooring permit fee and I • am pleased to report that cooperation between boaters, boatyards and Harbormaster has been excellent in making this new system work well. Foc the first time we have a complete listing of all vessels in Town which will now be brought up to date annually. As an add­ed beirc:it annual tackle inspection provides some reassurance of safer mooring areas. Mooring permits generates $5,200.


To our surprise and protest Commonwealth Electric Company, under a new policy, changed our Marina electric rate status from the General rate status to Seasonal use rate. This means a 25% increase in our electric bill. Under the burden of Preposition 21/2 Law means tighten­ing our mainterance budget to cover increases here.


The failiare of deadmen tie-backs in the Allen Harbor parking lot bulkhead caused the wall to slip forward late in July. Selectmen ordered emergency repairs to the structure due to this public safety hazard. In a related area, the Town turned down Article 40. to replace the boating ramp at Alien Harbor. With approval of the Selectmen, Senator Paul Doane will be seeking State Public Access Board funding of this project in 1984.


Under our new Shellfish Regulations, permit holders will be re­quired to file catch reports located on the backside of their old per­mits. If one cannot remember exactly how many pails of shellfish he or she has taken please make an educated guess. In this way we will have a more accurate accounting of recreational and commercial



Pleasant Bay responded with one of the better scallop seasons on record for Harwich. Little Pleasant 'Bay showed a record-breaking crop for Orleans. Harwich Bay scallopers did well in Pleasant Bay during the first two weeks of November. The Red River bed was choked with eel grass making dredging difficult.


In return for allowing shellfish rafting in Pleasant Bay, the '- Department received 30,000 1/2" size quahog seed from Cultured

Clam Corp. which has been planted in the Town shellfish grant behind Red River Beach parking lot. As it grows the seed will be transferred to shellfishing areas.


During the spawning season 240 bushels of mixed quahogs (cherries-chowder) were transplanted from Cape Cod Bay to family shellfishing areas at Allen Harbor and Wychmere. Round Cove (closed since 1980) will be open toy permit holders starting the day after Christmas.


Harbor receipts indicate a 25% rise over 1982 inspite of a 12% rise in rates. This is a result of increases in Offloading permits sold as well as the new Ramp and Mooring fees.













Saquahicket Marina

$ 86,424.49

FY 1983


Transient Dockage

Wychmere Town Pier

Allen Harbor Town Dock




*Natural Resources & Harbormaster

Patrol Expenses excluded.

Electrical Char7e



$ 41,312.00

Waiting List Fees




Laundry Receipts


WCI insurance


Telephone Cor3rnissions


Marina Premium


Fuel Dock Commission




Offload Permits


Total Expenses

$ 65,187.00

Mooring Adjustments


Total Harbor Income


Mooring Permit Fees


Less Expenses


Ramp Permits Seasonal




Ramp Fees Daily




Ice Receipts



$ 86,008.19

Total Receipts








Total Harbor Income






                   SHELLFISH EXPENSES


                   RECEIPTS                  EXPENSES



Family Shellfish Permits

$ 2,865.00




Senior Citizen Permits





Non-resident Permits





1-Day Non-res. Permit





Commercial Permits





State Shellfish Reimbursment





Total Shellfish Receipt







I wish to thank the Board of Selectmen, the various Town Departments and all the citizens of the Town for their cooperation and support during 1983.

Respectfully submitted,


THOMAS E. LEACH, Harbormaster



Report of the Committee on Harbor Development (COHD) 1983

To the Honorable Board of Selectmen and Citizens of Harwich:


In summary, work by COHD during 1983 on dredging, new slips for recreational boating at Saquatucket, and of course the Fishboat Basin Project came to near complete fruitation. Yet in an age of "me first and Town last," the construction of the latter two projects has been delayed, not by lack of progress by the Selectmen nor COHD. Significant results achieved are:


1. All Environmental permits for Wychmere Channel dredging, Round Cove dredging, 35-Slip Marina Expansion, and the Fishboat Basin were prepared, negotiated, and approved by Town, State, and Federal agencies - with one single exception - A necessary variance to rebuild saltmarsh - held up now by the intervention of 20-30 residents protesting the very existence of the Fishboat Basin Project - now that the Project's fruitation is now in sight. The net effect of this action is delay of the project - NOT cancellation in any sense of the word.


2. The completion and coordination of the Army Corps of Engineers' Final Report on the Fishboat Basin Project including their totally favorable environmental assessment was forwarded to Washington for final approval. All of this was accomplished despite the sub-rosa filing of a bill in the U.S. Congress to prohibit Army Corps help by Mr. Leo Diehl, Chief Aide to the Speaker, one of the protesting residents. Diehi's bill was overturned by U.S. Senate bill action (spearheaded by Sen. Paul Tsongas and Cong. Gerry Studds) instructing the Corps to fund and assist the Town. Favorable action is anticipated from Washington. But the pressure from these private quarters has delayed permits and funding once again. In the case of the 35-Slip Project, it may also have increased overall costs.


3. On 1 August, the Commonwealth awarded the Town in a highly successful competitive proposal, $1,300,000 to assist the Town with the Basin Project — this with strong backing of all the other Cape towns including Dennis, Orleans, Chatham, Eastham, and Provineetown as well as Environmental Agencies such as Mass. Coastal Zone Management, the County; and others. Despite the intervention action above and the delays, the $1.3M award stands.


4. Bidsets and drawings have been prepared on the 35-Slip Pro­ject. All permits, despite delays, are now in force.

At this writing, the Town is preparing the final hearing action for the final permit, the saltrnarsh variance, for the Fishboat Basin Pro­ject despite the intervention action by Saquatucket Bluffs faction. It should be noted that the Selectmen and COHD have tried every ex­traordinary means to negotiate with these disquieted residents — to no avail! They are intent on scuttling the Fishboat Basin Project as they regard it a threat. No agency nor Town body can issue a permit for "fear" or "me first." The entire situation is grievious to us — but we have tried every means open to us — other than the direct drawn- out legal actions now forced on the Town. We have every confidence of success.

It is sad for me to report that "me first and Town last," despite our best efforts, is the last obstacle we must now overcome.


Respectfully submitted,