Report of the
Harbormaster Department 1987
As Harwich continues to grow the impact of our citizens and visitors continues to have a direct and indirect influence on the environmental quality of our Town. This effect was dramatically shown for the first time by the shellfish closures during July and August. These closures were ordered by the Department of Environmental Quality Engineering after results from their testing showed poor water quality in the harbors. This is the first time that Wychmere harbor has ever been closed. It should concern all citizens of Harwich because Health closures are a direct indicator of the quality of our environment. Further, this quality seems to be headed irreversibly in one direction - down hill - unless we are all willing to take measures and to steer governmental controls at all levels to adjust. Consequently, shellfish permit sales were far off from previous years because of this scare and are reported as follows:
413 Resident Family Permits ($5) $2,065.00
13 Non-Resident Fain. Permits ($25) 325.00
151 Senior Citizen Permits ($1) 151.00
35 One-Day Family Non-Resident ($5) 175.00
15 Commercial Permits ($25) 375.00
627 Permits Sold $3,091.00
Water quality is the result of
many factors, not all of them bordering on the waterfront. Most of us would be
surprised to know that all of the street storm sewers in Harwichport drain
directly into the
It could be argued that our environmental quality is a product of our prosperity. Residents of Harwich must continue to recognize what is wrong with overgrowth and be willing to serve on our Towns various committees and commissions to attempt to steer growth and mitigate the negative. This is all important as we move into our new government under the Harwich Charter.
As predicted last year,
The West Dock at Saquatucket
Marina was replaced in time for the boating season. All officials of the Town
have taken exception to the quality and size of the decking material used on
this part of the project. The selectmen voted to withhold payment to the
contractor, Linberg Marine of
As we move into 1988, it is
planned that the fuel tank system will be replaced at the marina pending a
positive survey of the bulkheading. Other projects include: upgrading of the
Dredging plans for
The fishing industry at
Harwichport had a mild rebound this year as many of the fishing vessels have
geared over from gilinet gear back to semi-automated long-line fishing. This
has improved the general quality of the fish and coupled with average higher
fish prices to the fisherman there was a general windfall felt by most. There
seems to be a general trend of fishing vessels moving to smaller size boat in
the 30'.35' class with faster speed to beat the weather. The breach
1987 was a great summer weatherwise. Harbor income reflects this trend and is reported on a fiscal year basis.
Saquatucket Seasonal $173,810.91
Saquatucket Visitors 51,514.15
Mooring Permits 6,632.00
Commercial Offload Permits 1,242.50
Ramp User Fees 2,428.00
Ice Receipts 1,942.00
Waiting Ust Fee 4,215.00
The fiscal year Waterways budget for the same period $117,783.00.
Every resident's commitment to overseeing the waterfront is as important to the character of the Town as any zoning measure that we may take inland. The Waterways Commission is looking forward to beginning a comprehensive harbor management plan which will squarely clarify issues in the harbor front area. As Harbormaster, I would welcome positive input from all to this plan.
Thomas E. Leach, Harbormaster
Report of the
Waterways Commission 1987
The Waterways Committee was changed to the Waterways Commission by adoption of the Town Charter. Our duties remain the same as an advisory group to the Board of Selectmen.
Our Harbor activities and the usage of our Navigable Waterways have reached a stage that requires a Harbor Management Plan. The Waterways Commission is developing a Program for presentation to the Board of Selectmen.
A Mooring Permit procedure has been developed and, if acceptable to the Town, will either be a Regulation or a By-Law.
There is urgent need for a Dock/Pier Regulation or By-Law. Inasmuch as we do not have either the Regulation or By-Law, the State has issued Permits without regard to the Town's best interests. Unfortunately, such action can often result in litigation. A procedure has been worked out and, if acceptable, will become either a Regulation or a By-Law.
The Commission has compiled an inventory of the Town's Waterways and Harbors assets.
The Inventory, the Mooring Permit Procuedure and a Dockage/Pier Regulation or By-Law can become important sections of the Harbor Management Plan. it may be necessary to set up a special Committee to work out a Harbor Management Plan.
Joseph A. Goodhue, Chairman David Wardwell
David Van Gelder, Vice Chairman Alex Thomson
Jennifer Learned, Secretary