Little Sippewissett Marsh Sand Budget and Flushing Study; Woodneck Beach Water Quality Analysis

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Location: Little Sippewissett Marsh and Woodneck Beach, Falmouth MA 02540
Applicant: Conservation Commission
Grant: $60,000
Year/Article: November 2006, A34

In 2006, when concerned Falmouth citizens were noticing and reporting the degradation of the Sippewissett Marsh, Town officials recognized the need to conduct studies to support the development of an integrated management plan for the marsh and abutting beach. The Commission planned to integrate the information gained from the studies previous studies of the ecology of bacterial communities in the system and the geology and evolution of the coastal system. At the same time the Sippewissett Homeowners Association was developing and implementing a plan to control invasive phragmites or common weed (Phragmites australis) in the area and the Conservation Commission was working to design a system to better control storm water runoff and associated sediment and pollution problems in the watershed.

The Conservation Commission requested and received $60,000 from the CPFund to conduct the studies needed to prepare management recommendations for the marsh and beach coastal complex. The goals were to determine the most effective way to maximize the recreation value of the beach and marsh while minimizing the effects on natural resources, improve wildlife value and productivity of the system, develop a plan to control invasive species, and serve as a model for other public beach-coastal marsh systems such as Chappaquoit and Old Silver beaches.

The Commission completed a draft report in September of 2008. The intention was to present it to the Board of Selectmen for approval and use it to develop a mitigation plan for preserving the marsh. Action has been deferred until resources become available.

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