Menemsha dredge project complete


The Menemsha Channel dredge project, one of the largest Martha’s Vineyard navigational projects in recent years, has been completed, with more than 42,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from Menemsha Channel, most of it pumped to Lobsterville Beach. Approximately 3,500 cubic yards of the pristine sand was trucked to the town of Chilmark, where it will eventually be used on Squibnocket Beach.

“I’m impressed with both the professionalism and speed of H & L Dredging,” Bret Stearns, director of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) natural resources department, told The Times.

The delay-plagued project began in 2015, and this year New York–based H & L Dredging was brought in to finish the job.

In the next few weeks, the Natural Resources Department staff and contractors will place a section of jute roll, approximately 50 feet wide by 700 feet long, to preserve the sand on Lobsterville Beach over the winter. In the spring, the tribe will seek volunteers to assist with beach grass planting along Lobsterville Road.

Mr. Stearns said the beach grass planted by volunteers in the spring of 2016 has flourished.

Now that the Menemsha Channel dredging is completed, the plans to replace the culvert under Lobsterville Roadway will move forward. In 2016, the town of Aquinnah and the Wampanoag tribe partnered on a grant application to the Environmental Protection Agency Southern New England Coastal Watershed Restoration program, part of which will cover the $215,000 needed to replace the culvert.