SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 7, 2008

Sand Wars Who owns the sand? Ongoing battle may delay solutions for Plum Island

(Continued)

Connors did not. In mid March, his lawyer sent a letter to local, state and federal officials and agencies presenting arguments against Salisbury's eligibility for the sand. The letter said letting sand get dumped off Salisbury violated a state executive order that stated sand must be dumped downdrift from the place it is dredged. The letter said the group of "ten or more citizens" — of which only Connors has trhus far been named — would seek to prevent the sand from ever again being dumped off Salisbury Beach.

Connors said the letter was wrongly misinterpreted as a threat and was only really calling for a study. Klima argued it would only serve to hurt Plum Island by delaying the dredging. The Army Corps' O'Donnell agrees with Klima.

O'Donnell would like the corps to do a regional sediment study that stretches far beyond Salisbury and Newbury.

"The purpose of (a regional sediment managment study) is to determine sources of sediment that fill our Federal naviagon channels from upland areas and along shore areas," O'Donnell said. "Once we know the sources we can figure the best way to keep them out of our channels and decide the best areas to place what we do dredge on the adgacent beaches. ... We estimate we'd need about $250,000 to do the study that looks at the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire from the Annisquam River in the south to Hampton Harbor in the north."

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