Op Ed - Badly Informed Grandstanding Politician Polito Gives Chatham $100 K to Re-Dredge Aunt Lydias Cove

by Gerald A. Milden, North Chatham


Badly Informed Grandstanding Politician Polito Gives Chatham $100 K to Re-dredge Aunt Lydias Cove.

It’s déjà vu all over again”    Yogi Berra

This is a final wake up call for all of Chatham’s east facing onshore and near shore property owners.  This is the start of industrial scale dredging which will accelerate the obliteration of Chatham’s eastern shoreline.

Another dredging of the cove will draw uncontrollable torrents of tidal flows to the waterfront. The rush of water will hug the entire east facing North Chatham shoreline in order to seek the path of least resistance, which is the cove’s lowered sea bottom. Soon huge volumes of water from upper Pleasant Bay will be barreling down the beach taking out everything in its path from Nickerson Neck in the North to possibly as far south as Monomoy. That’s because the last dredging redirected the water to a shoreline course from its normal mid-bay route. They have already changed Chatham’s entire eastern coastal geomorphology in order to accommodate a handful of fishermen who could easily use another port.

My insights concerning North Chatham’s changing waterfront have been consistently correct for 30 years but this time the consequences of dredging are obvious and don’t require special insight. Another dredging of the ALC will create the same disastrous after effects as the 2017 dredging ... times 100.

And another dredging of Aunt Lydias Cove will do to Ministers Point what the 1995 dredging along Shore Rd did to the revetment near Lighthouse Beach and the one on the end of Holway. In those cases the hydrodynamic scouring of water rushing along the wall caused the sea bottom in front of those revetments to go down 65 feet almost overnight. That will certainly happen to one or more of the five Ministers Point waterfront properties.

And immediately after that happens, all of the remaining properties on the Point will be wiped out causing the rate of inland erosion to all onshore and near shore properties to the north, south and west of the Point to undergo accelerated erosion by orders of magnitude to such a degree, the erosion will be unstoppable.


In other words, if one of the Point properties goes, every property around it will also go soon afterwards. There is only so much money we on the Point can throw at the problem. Eventually the scouring will be too much for us to stop.

If future dredging is not stopped property owners will lose their homes long before their rightful time. The $100,000 dredging money is the result of a political payoff. State officials are trading off Chatham’s east facing onshore homes with a total assessed value of $671,686,430.00 in exchange for a few hundred votes at re-election time.

The numbers don’t make any sense. They are risking 670 million dollars worth of waterfront properties, plus their annual real estate assessment taxes, for a handful of boats that can be moved elsewhere?

It’s beyond stupid it’s insane.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”               Albert Einstein

For additional background information go to DredgeReport.org and to receive urgent updates on Cape Cod’s waterfront issues subscribe to that free nonprofit site.

Gerald Milden
North Chatham, MA 

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