Monday, June 15, 2009

Beach ball of confusion

Here's Victor Tine's story on Friday's meeting of the Merrimack River Beach Alliance.

You can see how much confusion there is, especially amongst the populace, one commenter believing that "Plum Island Center northward" means Newburyport.

I just got off the phone with a woman from the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency, by the way, that refers to what we all call "The Point" as the "Plum Island State Reservation."

The state owns the beach, the parking lot, the shellfish plant ... all turned over by the feds in the 70s but run by Newburyport under some mysterious Memorandum of Understanding that I plan on obtaining a copy of right soon.

Well hello. I'm sure many of you knew this already.

This woman from DCR, Susan Hamilton, is the Northeast Region regional director and deals primarily with operations at the aforementioned "Plum Island State Reservation."

But I don't know - it seems to me that the city wasn't entirely aware of the situation until people started working on the beach management plan. I'm sure some people were, just not people representing the city on the committee.

(There are about 26 people on that committee, by the way. I believe there were 5 DCR people there on Friday; folks from MassDEP, Coastal Zone Management and of course the Army Corps of Engineers - I'm sure I'm leaving people out. And of course PITA people and the 3 guys from the PI Foundation. And you wonder why there's confusion.)

And this DCR woman wasn't aware that Newburyport wasn't part of the nourishment plan until last Friday, at the meeting, she said.

As to why we're not, she said to check with the chairman of the alliance, which I believe is state Sen. Bruce Tarr, who of course does not represent Newburyport in the State House. He represents Newbury.

1 comment:

Ari Herzog said...

I've seen the MOU and I talked to Susan Hamilton in early 2008 when federal law (under the MOU) required the city to erect a sign at the PI parking lot.

As to Senator Tarr, he may represent Newbury; but both communities' public safety departments routinely assist each other on Plum Island, so logic dictates Tarr should help Newburyport.