Thursday, Jan. 23
- Local Comprehensive Planning Committee, 8:30 a.m., Council on Aging
- Local Housing Partnership, 4 p.m., Town Hall
Tuesday, Jan. 28
- Select Board, 6 p.m., Council on Aging
Wednesday, Jan. 29
- Finance Committee, 7 p.m., Council on Aging
Herring River Project Goes to Cape Cod Commission
The Herring River Restoration Project is now in the hands of the Cape Cod Commission (CCC), which is reviewing the first phase, the restoration of 570 acres of wetlands, as a Development of Regional Impact. This is the project’s first environmental permit application.
“This is an event that takes us into a new phase and starts us down the road toward construction and correcting long term environmental damage,” said Dan Hoort, Wellfleet town administrator, in a prepared statement.
The Herring River’s water quality is severely degraded due to the 1909 construction of the Chequessett Neck Road dike, which has blocked tidal flow over the past 110 years.
Ninety-five percent of the land involved in Phase 1 (540 acres) is federally owned, being within the Cape Cod National Seashore, according to a press release from the town of Wellfleet. Of the remaining area, roughly nine acres are owned by the Wellfleet Conservation Trust, 10 acres are owned by the Chequessett Yacht and Country Club, and approximately 11 acres are portions of wetlands on residential parcels. The project aims to protect all public and private structures from any potential harm resulting from the restoration of tidal flow.
Phase 1 is a collaborative project undertaken by Wellfleet and the Cape Cod National Seashore.
“The proposed restoration of the Herring River estuary is a project of unique significance to the region, and of vital importance to the Cape Cod National Seashore,” Carlstrom wrote in the application to the CCC. Degraded water quality in the river “is responsible for the closure of hundreds of acres of once-harvestable downstream shellfish beds.”
The filing will kick off what is likely to be a months-long review process including a public hearing to be held by the CCC.
Copies of the application are available to the public at Wellfleet Public Library, 55 West Main St., and the Wellfleet Health and Conservation Department, 220 West Main St. —K.C. Myers