NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 5, 2013

Show and tell on the waterfront

There is no reason why those not connected with the American Yacht Club at the foot of Lime Street should be aware of the restructuring of its bulkhead.

There’s every reason, however, to applaud because maintenance of waterfront properties is especially important to communities blessed with them.

The yacht club has had upstream neighbors since 1884.

The most recent at its westerly end has been the power station.

Created in 1920, it is currently owned by National Grid, which has been razing old and no longer used buildings on its acreage.

There’s no word as to why, but there’s the inevitable wonder because waterfront acreage is, well, not readily available. Perhaps this will not be, but one never knows.

Newburyport’s waterfront stretches from its share of Plum Island to West Newbury, and that is a lot of coastline for riverfront owners to protect. Almost all of it is either in its natural state or properly cared for by its owners.

There is no better way to appreciate that than to take a very slow boat ride with occasional anchorings to see just how engaging it is.

This small patch of it is, however, unique.

The American Yacht Club has been attending its southeasterly share of the riverfront responsibilities since its origin.

Usually, they are straightforward, and members stand to in order to upgrade what’s required.

This time, however, there was a disconcerting reality to be dealt with at the western end of the bulkhead.

The yacht club’s ground level is several feet higher than that of its neighbor because the ancient bulkhead of the neighboring property has long since collapsed.

Truth to tell, I’m a life member of the yacht club, as well as a Newburyport and Newbury resident for the great part of a very long time.

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