Category Archives: Conservation

Beach Access: Mobi-Mats for Trails on Plum Island

Club members Susie McKay and I (Kathy Strauch) attended the site visit on July 30 to see what Newburyport is doing about beach access on the north end of Plum Island. (Thank Susie for getting me there; she was the driving force.) There was one man from MBBA, but I don’t know his name. Susie and I made sure to let people know that we represented Plum Island Surfcasters. Julie from the Newburyport city conservation dept. said that signs at the roads would mark each trail and state where the trail leads. Signs at the far end near the water would be smaller and would indicate where the trail would lead to along the road. I suggested reflective signs that would be easy to find in the dark with a flashlight and she agreed that would be a good idea.

Here is a handout from the city of Newburyport describing the problem and the trails:

We saw the new Mobi-Mats  on several of the trails (newspaper article at this link ). The mats currently only cover about 1/3 of the the trails. These are expensive mats and there is not enough money to do all the trails. Because they are so expensive and there is worry they would wash away in winter storms, the mats will be pulled up before winter and put back in spring. This should prevent sand build-up over the years. Without a covering of sand, the mats are much easier to walk on than loose sand, so that will be an encouragement to people to use the trails.  These mats are designed for handicap-accessible wheel chair traffic.   Pulling a wheeled cooler or a fishing gear cart will be much easier on the Mobi-Mats than on loose sand.

All the cross trails are not being cut off; some openings are being left. The rationale being that leaving the openings is better than having people demolish sections of the fence to keep using their favored trails.

As I was viewing and listening, I kept trying to think of how the fishing community could help the restoration effort and keep good relations with the town. As the mats are very expensive, I don’t think the club could help out directly. But maybe we could be advocates for using some of the fishing license fees for this. It seems to me that walking trails to get to the beach are just as important to fishermen as fishing piers and boat launches. I suggested this to both Julie and Sharif Zeid (city council member), who both liked the idea. Sharif Zeid mentioned that all the money they have for the project comes from one-time grants and there are no recurring funds for trail maintenance.

We may hear from the city about who to contact to lobby for fishing license money.

Kathy

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Beach Access: Second Site Visit on June 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Information comes from the

Newburyport Dune Restoration and Beach Access Improvement Project

The Project Team invites you to attend our second site visit to the north end of Plum Island on June 30th at 1pm. Thanks to funding from the MA Office of Coastal Zone Management and support from MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, lots of work has occurred over the past several months to support this natural resource, enhance user experience, and protect public safety. This is your opportunity to see the work firsthand, ask questions, and provide feedback!

We have this information from the town of Newburyport:
“Regarding the site visit, we hope to lead a tour of the area in late June so folks can see the mobi-mats, signs, and beach access trail maps we’re creating. We’ll be available to answer questions in person and talk about the work that has occurred, the process we followed, and potential next steps”.

It is important that members of the fishing community attend and present our point of view.  Please make an effort to attend if you fish this area.

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Beach Access Public Meeting and Site Visit: 1:00 pm, June 30, 2017

BEACH ACCESS

The beach at the north end of Plum Island is being impacted by erosion of the river side of the south jetty and erosion control efforts are underway.  Some trails for accessing the waterfront will have to be closed off.  Another site visit is scheduled for 1 pm on June 30th.  We have this information from the town of Newburyport:
“Regarding the site visit, we hope to lead a tour of the area in late June so folks can see the mobi-mats, signs, and beach access trail maps we’re creating. We’ll be available to answer questions in person and talk about the work that has occurred, the process we followed, and potential next steps”.

It is important that members of the fishing community attend and present our point of view.  Please make an effort to attend if you fish this area.

Georgette Henrich ~ President

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Rocks Village Cleanup 2017

On a beautiful Sunday morning, a group of fishermen gathered in West Newbury to clean up the Rocks Village shoreline along the Merrimack River. About 20 people showed up, eager to clean up this great fishing spot for shad and stripers. By 8:40 a.m. more than a dozen large bags of trash as well as some larger items were picked up waiting to be hauled off.  A great team effort.

 

I want to thank everyone who showed up to help out. Many club members were there as well as some prospective members. I especially want to thank Eric Roach for organizing this project and for taking the lead every year. His strong commitment to the environment shows everyone that he is not only a fishermen, but a steward trying to preserve what little fishing areas are left. I would also like to thank the Home Depot and Lowes home improvement stores for donating the trash bags.

Just a reminder that when you go out and take something with you it is usually lighter coming back. And if you see trash when you leave, please pick it up. In the Girl Scouts we have a motto: “Girl Scouts always leave a place better than they found it.” I would like to see that motto used when we fishermen go out and fish. Thank you.

Tight lines,
Georgette

P.S.  Please bear in mind that there is poison ivy in this area.  Your webmaster once did a good deed by removing a long section of fishing line tangled in some weeds–and got quite a rash from it!

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