The Town of Plymouth is very pleased to announce that it has received a $2,000,000 state grant to undertake a large-scale beach nourishment project on Plymouth Long Beach.
The award was granted through the FY23 Coastal Resilience Grant Program offered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Through CZM’s FY23 program, Massachusetts’ coastal cities and towns were given the opportunity to request up to $2,000,000 for projects that address coastal vulnerabilities, including shoreline restoration projects which increase natural storm damage protection, flood and erosion control, and community resilience.
CZM’s FY23 grant follows another previous award secured by the Town’s Department of Marine & Environmental Affairs (DMEA) through the FY21 Coastal Resilience Program, which awarded $142,000 for the design and permitting of the Plymouth Long Beach Mixed Sediment Nourishment Project. Now that design and permitting for the project are complete, this latest award from CZM—not only the largest issued in the FY23 round, but the most sizeable amount granted in the program’s history—will fund nearly 75% of the expense to carry out the nourishment project.
Severe storms, particularly over the last decade, have caused an increasing level of erosion on the southern part of Long Beach, including the 2010 “Christmas” storm, February 2013 blizzard, January 2015 blizzard, and March 2018 nor’easters. Decreased beach volume and dune height resulting from increased wave activity and wash-overs make this area particularly susceptible to erosion and failure, weakening the beach’s ability to provide storm protection and flood control for the Harbor and Plymouth’s densely populated and developed downtown/waterfront areas. Furthermore, erosion puts Ryder Way at risk, thereby threatening the loss of the only means of access to private properties and public recreation areas on the beach, and the only route for emergency response and/or evacuation.
Under the stewardship of the Plymouth’s DMEA, the Long Beach Mixed Sediment Nourishment Project will facilitate the placement of 35,600 cubic yards of mixed sediment material over 270,000 square feet of eroded beach, spanning a length of approximately 2,000 linear feet, from the Long Beach Day Parking Area northward to the Crossover. This nature-based, ‘soft-measure’ approach will complement the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to reconstruct the deteriorated portion of the stone dike that runs the length of the beach.
On September 19th, EEA Secretary Bethany Card and CZM Director Lisa Engler joined state legislators and local officials at Pilgrim Memorial State Park to announce the Baker-Polito Administration’s FY23 Coastal Resilience awards, highlighting several South Shore communities that also received grants through the program: the towns of Cohasset, Marshfield, Scituate, and Duxbury/Duxbury Beach Association. Of the total $12.6 million granted through the FY23 program to
Plymouth’s Town Manager, Derek Brindisi, thanked the Baker-Polito Administration, Plymouth’s legislative delegation, and EEA and CZM officials for recognizing the importance of Plymouth Long Beach as both a protective barrier for the harbor and an important community and environmental resource. “Long Beach is far too important to the Town and the entire area surrounding Plymouth Harbor to delay action,” he said. “This funding is absolutely critical to the Town’s ability to address storm damage and prepare for future events.”
The Town anticipates that the Long Beach Mixed-Sediment Nourishment Project will be underway by the end of the calendar year, with an anticipated project completion timeframe of early spring 2023. In the interim, the Town will make every effort to keep the public informed of key construction milestones and any access interruptions related to the completion of the project.