Marblehead Harbormaster Webb Russell said the seasonal docks and floats that populate Marblehead Harbor have been hauled in at Riverhead Beach in the late summer and early fall "for as long as anyone can remember."
The docks and floats, he said, are typically towed toward the beach, anchored near the shore, and hauled out of the water at low tide to be stacked and stored on land for the winter months.
So Russell, and the local marine equipment workers who typically haul the floats this time of year, were surprised Thursday to hear that the Conservation Commission will be reviewing the operations at Riverhead Beach.
"They couldn't have done it at a worse time," Russell said Tuesday afternoon, adding that the removal of between 100 and 120 floats will likely be affected by the order.
On Tuesday, Russell said he was crafting a letter to the Board of Selectmen, seeking their support in dealing with the order as quickly as possible because a lengthy delay "could be dangerous for everybody who is leaving docks out there."
The Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7:15 p.m., regarding an application recently filed by the Recreation and Parks Commission related to "activities on the land commonly known as Riverhead Beach and Town Beach."
According to the application, filed by the Recreation and Parks Commission:
Proposed Work Activities
- Winter storage of floats, gangways, mooring blocks, boats, trailers and lobster traps and in areas shown on the plan.
- Launching of floats, gangways, and mooring blocks in the spring of each year.
- Retrieval of floats, gangways, and mooring blocks in the fall of each year.
- Repairs and maintenance of floats and gangways in area shown on the plan.
- Construction of new floats, gangways, and mooring blocks in area shown on the plan.
- Installation of a seasonal shelter (ie. Quonset hut) for construction of new floats and maintenance of existing floats.
- Routine maintenance and repairs to existing buildings and structures at Devereux Beach and Riverhead Beach.
- Mowing and trimming activities at Devereux Beach and Riverhead Beach parking areas.
- Routine removal of accumulated sand from concrete boat launching ramp.
- Beach cleaning activities including removal of trash and accumulated sea weed and debris by raking with a York Rake attached to a John Deere Gator model XUV.
- Temporary storage of seaweed and debris cleaned from beaches.
- Routine grading and maintenance of gravel parking areas.
- Seasonal installation of wooden boardwalks, handicap access mat, signs and lifeguard chairs.
Have you been affected by the Conservation Commission's order? Let us know in the comments section below.