Officials report to selectmen on Tashmoo spill

Selectmen Jon Snyder, left, and Melinda Loberg during the March 31 Tisbury selectmen's meeting. – Photo by Rich Saltzberg

Fire Chief John Schilling, shellfish constable Danielle Ewart, and assistant harbormaster John Crocker gave the Tisbury selectmen a report on the 33-foot sportfisherman that sank in Tashmoo Lagoon Monday.

Fire Chief John Schilling praised the quick action of local fishermen, who deployed a boom stored at the Lake Street landing pier when the diesel was first seen on the water. He said volunteer firefighter and Steamship Authority terminal manager Richard Clark, who “has received extensive oil-spill response training through the Steamship Authority,” was an indispensable advisor for tactics and approach.

The chief thanked Cumberland Farms for sending hot chocolate and Stop and Shop for sending sandwiches to the the spill site. Charter captain Lynn Fraker lauded the entire response. “It was cold, it was nasty, and everyone did an amazing job,” she said.

Harbor Management Committee member Michael Jampel suggested installing 10 transient moorings in Tashmoo for use by visiting boaters.

Ms. Fraker spoke out against the issue. She said transient moorings have not been voted on or even discussed by the Harbor Management Committee, and it was improper for the selectmen to discuss the subject until that happened.

Simone DeSorcy also spoke out against the issue, stating her late father, Donald DeSorcy, in 1971 was the first to sink any mooring in Tashmoo, and eventually came to own three in the lagoon, which were used for both work and pleasure. She said that better management of existing moorings and better relations with the people who own them are better choices than adding marine infrastructure for the benefit of off-Islanders.

Mr. Jampel said 42 boats anchored in the lagoon last July. With enhanced eelgrass restrictions poised to constrict anchorage in Tashmoo, he thought it prudent to manage such volume in the future with transient moorings.

Selectmen voted to add the issue to their next public hearing, provided the Harbor Management Committee votes on the matter beforehand.

Selectman Tristan Israel was absent from the meeting.