, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 2, 2013

State targets Salisbury erosion

Snow fencing headed for area pounded by blizzard

SALISBURY — State officials are promising to purchase enough snow fencing to protect the dunes at Salisbury Beach after portions of the shore were seriously damaged during last month’s blizzard.

Town Manager Neil Harrington said the day after the storm, he met in Boston with state Rep. Michael Costello, D-Newburyport; Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport; and Commissioner Ed Lambert of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation concerning a number of issues related to the state-owned Salisbury Beach, including the recent erosion that has caused concern for many.

Last month’s blizzard gouged out huge sections of the sacrificial dunes that protect beach homes along the east side of North End Boulevard in an area that has not previously experienced such grave problems. Although dune grass held much of the top of the dunes in place, storm surges ate away the slope and midsection of some dunes, leaving 12-foot high cliffs that could collapse in their wake. The cliffs pose a potential safety hazard to those walking on or below them, officials have said.

DCR’s pledge to bring in sufficient quantities of snow fencing to nourish the dunes is a major step in trying to repair the damage caused by nature along the shore. Harrington said the installation of the fencing, which catches and holds blowing sand, will help replenish the dunes as time passes.

The town manager plans to call a meeting of the Salisbury Beach Management Plan Committee to further address the issue. He said he hopes to tap the state’s Salisbury Beach Preservation Trust Fund to help pay for efforts to nourish and protect the beach.

The dedicated fund, proposed in 2008 by former state Sen. Steve Baddour, is underwritten by a $2 surcharge paid by those who camp and park at Salisbury Beach State Reservation during the tourist season. When first implemented, the surcharge was estimated to raise about $250,000 a year. Harrington said the trust fund should have a considerable amount of money in it by now.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Special Features