Mattapoisett encounters issues with harbor dredging

Jan 26, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — This year’s effort to dredge portions of Mattapoisett harbor is taking longer and costing more money than expected, said Mattapoisett Harbormaster Jamie McIntosh.

During a Jan. 26 meeting of the Mattapoisett Marine Advisory Board McIntosh explained that the winter flounder spawning season coupled with issues surrounding disposal of dredged sediment has changed the timeline and raised the cost of dredging.

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries prohibited any dredging between Jan. 15 and June 15 because of spawning season in the harbor, he said.

However, McIntosh noted that the town will receive a permit from the state that allows him to dredge the harbor in “late April or May” before boating season begins.

“We have some spotty holes in Holmes Wharf and Long Wharf so it’ll allow me to get in there with a dock before boats are in the water and do the necessary repairs to the wharves with some hydraulic concrete and stones,” he said.

Once dredging begins and sediment is cleared from the sea floor, said McIntosh, it needs to be disposed of.

Originally, the town planned to dump the dredged sediment at the Mattapoisett capped landfill, said McIntosh.

However, he said, it would cost between $30,000 and $50,000 to conduct the “necessary testing” required to dump the sediment. The nearest alternative dumping site is the Bourne transfer station.

McIntosh told the board that it would only cost $10,000 to dump sediment in Bourne.

He estimated that it would cost about $5,000 to pay for an environmental engineer to review the sediment and another $4,000 or $5,000 to pay for transportation.

According to Mattapoisett Town Administrator Mike Lorenco, funds can be transferred from the town’s reserve fund, which currently has a balance of around $150,000.

The reserve fund is used to pay for “unforeseen unexpected expenses.”