Herring River Restoration

Herring River Restoration Project

By the end of 2007, the Herring River Technical Committee had completed its task of producing a Conceptual Restoration Plan and creating a second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU II) which linked the participants in the restoration planning process. A new committee, the HERRING RIVER RESTORATION COMMITTEE was also created by the MOU II. The Towns of Wellfleet and Truro, and the Cape Cod National Seashore were referred to as Entities, with their representatives carrying veto power. Four participating agencies necessary for restoration planning were referred to as Cooperating Agencies: USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service; MA Coastal Zone Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Wetlands Restoration Program. These representatives will work together, by consensus, to plan the proposed restoration.





I. Update on Hydrodynamic modeling Kirk Busman Woods hole group II. Discussion of tasks for EIS Phase 2 contract III. Planning for First Public Scoping Meeting, August 14 IV. Review of revised CYCC Grading plans, Louis Berger Group V. Update on NEPA/ MEPA filings VI. Discussion of 6/24/08 MA Historic Commission response letter VII. Update on Friends of Herring River organizing VIII. New business IX. Next meeting

Previous Agenda

Herring River Restoration Committee

May 21, 2008


I. Status of Hydrodynamic Modeling

II. Status of NOI filing for NEPA

A. Project Notification Form for historical and archaeological review

III Status of Special Project Review for MEPA

IV Status of planning for public scoping sessions this summer

V Status of Berger work

VI. Out come Of CYCC charrette A. formation of smaller working group with CYCC B. Formation of Third Party group

VII. Discussion of ACOE involvement in project

VIII adjourn

Most Recent Minutes of the Herring River Restoration Committee

Minutes of Herring River Restoration Committee CCNS Headquarters 3 April 2008 Members attending: Gary Joseph, Chairman (Wellfleet), Eric Derleth (US FWS), Charleen Greenhalgh (Truro), Steve Spear (NRCS), Steve Block (NOAA), Tim Smith (MCZM-MWRP), John Portnoy (CCNS) Others attending: Carrie Phillips (CCNS), Davis McGowan (DCR), Helen M. Wilson, John Riehl. Craig Wood, Spence Smith and Chris Gajeski represented The Berger Group. Minutes of the 21 February meeting were accepted unanimously after correcting the meeting location to Seashore Headquarters. A charrette at the Chequesset Yacht and Country Club is planned for 7 May from 10 AM to 3 PM to brainstorm alternatives to fund golf-course relocation out of the Herring River flood plain. The HRRC discussed whom should attend. John Riehl suggested that Ivan Ace, a CYCC member and past Friend of CCNS, be invited. A new option of filling existing fairways, instead of relocating them, was discussed. One benefit is that this plan preserves the CYCC undeveloped land, a valuable asset; however, it may be premature to include this option in the 7 May meeting. Phillips noted that the fill alternative will have to be considered in the EIS/EIR, but the charrette should focus on relocation, with filling only considered with respect to potential limits of funding. Derleth and Joseph agreed. Spear and Riehl suggested that we need to reconsider diking off Mill Creek, if all else fails to relocate the golf fairways. McGowan went over the CYCC charrette agenda, which will end with the identification of specific tasks and due dates. We discussed the "Yellow-book" appraisal of the 25-acre CYCC property, at only $400,000, much less than the anticipated $2.4-million value that led Wellfleet voters to promise a $1.2-million contribution from the Land Bank. Fate of the $1.2 million is now uncertain, but Joseph will follow up with Assistant Town Administrator Peterson. Greenhalgh suggested that the HRRC seek clarification from the town attorney on whether these funds can be re-authorized for use on some other aspect of the project. It was moved (Derleth), seconded (Block) and unanimously voted that the Chair write to Wellfleet administration requesting information regarding future use of the $1.2 million. Portnoy will draft some specific questions for HRRC review. Hydrodynamic modeling by the Woods Hole Group continues per their contract with some delays, per T. Smith. The HRRC discussed and rejected the idea of experimentally opening the dike's single sluice gate for model calibration. SERO regulatory meeting, 6 March. T. Smith presented the project. We received good support from all of the regulatory agencies. G. Joseph requested preparation of a brief presentation on project objectives, scope and progress for public programs. Portnoy will put this together and forward to the HRRC for comment. NOI and scoping for NEPA. Phillips expects it will take 6-12 weeks to get it published in the Federal Register after leaving the Park. EIS public scoping is planned for 2 PM on 14 August, including State MEPA, and at 7 PM on 24 September, both at the Wellfleet Senior Center. The comment period will be 60 days. Portnoy will check with the Cape Cod Commission on whether they are required to hold public scoping for a DRI, and, if so, whether they want to combine theirs with ours. Berger Group. Craig Wood, Spence Smith and Chris Gajeski represented Berger. They will provide their meeting notes from today. The HRRC gave Wood permission to contact Lindsay Gillham, project manager for EIS preparation under NPS funding, directly with questions, but asked that the Committee be copied on all correspondence. S. Smith noted that Berger will keep its own administrative record of their involvement of the project; this record is a deliverable at the end of the project. Re the towns' administrative record, H. Wilson noted that the HRRC is accountable to both Truro and Wellfleet for minutes and any emails pertinent to decision-making. Points of contact for Berger will be C. Phillips for NEPA and T. Smith for MEPA. We went over Berger's schedule. It was noted that Chapter 1 of the EIS requires input from public scoping, so it cannot be completed by Berger under the current contract schedule. The HRRC will look over examples of style and structure for Chapter 1 and provide Berger with a model to follow. A draft outline for this chapter, including project purpose, need, objectives and impact topics, is being routed for HRRC review by Portnoy, for transmittal asap to Berger. Wood urged that we begin contact with Mass. Historical Commission soon for MEPA, and after the NOI is published for NEPA; he will have Berger's archaeologist contact MHC. S. Spear said to include the Wampanoag, typically at time of public scoping. Berger will notify MNHESP, although prior meetings of this office with HRRC members, and at the 6 March SERO meeting, were noted. Wood advised that restoration of tides would increase the FEMA 100-year flood elevation upstream of the dike; however, it was noted that effects should be limited to already existing wetlands. This issue needs to be addressed in the EIS/EIR. The MWRP has asked Berger to prepare a proposal for the assessment of filling low fairways in the CYCC, recognizing that this alternative must be considered in the EIS/EIR. Spear suggested that fill volumes be computed for each 1-foot increment in final elevation. Our next meeting is planned for 10 AM on 21 May at Wellfleet Senior Center. Respectfully submitted, John Portnoy

Herring River Restoration: Update

The Selectmen discussed the Committee's recommendation and voted unanimous approval. According to the MOU, the Herring River Technical Committee (HRTC) was now responsible for developing a Restoration Plan. The Committee began meeting again in February. One of the first orders of business was to establish eleven and eventually 14 sub committees, cataloging issues relevant to the Restoration.


As of December. 2006, 13 of the HRTC's 14 sub committee's have reported back to the full Committee and 12 final reports have been accepted. These sub com reports contain information that will contribute to the restoration plan.

1. Vegetation Management Issues (approved August, 2006). Study of vegetation volumes, types and locations within the flood plain. Woody stemmed, intrusive upland vegetation will need a careful management plan, for removal prior to being killed by salt water. If the restoration were done in an incremental manner, vegetation could be removed sequentially. Approximately 600 acres of vegetation may require management effort. Various methods and techniques were presented. Options for disposal included: cut and sold as biomass for fuel; cut and burned on site; allowed to naturally transition (in the case of some reedy vegetation). Members: Joel Fox; Stephen Spear; Carl Breivogel; Gordon Peabody. 2. Stakeholder Issues (presented August, 2006). Just over sixty questions were gathered from residents, abutters and the Stakeholders Committee. Questions of a technical nature were answered prior to the early January, 2006 Wellfleet Selectmen's meeting. Questions regarding restoration management were answered as the HRTC began studying planning issues. Members: Robert Hubby; John Riehl. 3. Education Issues (approved August, 2006). The restoration provides a unique opportunity to share "real time" educational material. Teaching and learning concepts, from digital to on site and techniques from newsletters to a "restoration trail" were presented. Members: Robert Hubby; John Portnoy; Gordon Peabody.

4. Migration Issues (approved September, 2006). Multi species, anadromous and catadromous migrations were researched. Critical migration time windows were determined. Members: Andy Koch; Diane Murphy; Carl Breivogel.

5. Budget and Grants (approved October, 2006). Outlines potential budget issues, funding sources and grant timelines. Members: Tim Smith; John Portnoy; Stephen Spear; John Riehl. 6. Permitting Issues (approved October, 2006). Catalogues sequence of overall, multi-tiered permitting matrix, between federal, state and local agencies. Members: Hillary Greenberg; Tim Smith; John Portnoy. 7. Monitoring Issues (approved September, 2006). Provides catalogue of potential bio-indicators, parameters, protocols and sites for monitoring. Members: Diane Murphy, Andy Koch; Carl Breivogel; Gordon Peabody. 8. Restoration Histories, Lessons to be Learned (approved October, 2006). A study of New England's previous salt marsh restorations. Focus was on the nearby Hatches Harbor Restoration which provides a model for elements of our restoration plan. Common restoration problems were described. members: Tim Smith; Stephen Spear; Gordon Peabody.

9. Liaison (approved September, 2006). A catalogue of restoration partners with common interests (ecological, social, educational, administrative, financial and physical) in the restoration process. Members: John Riehl; Gordon Peabody.

10. Archives (approved October, 2006). Catalogue defining documents, electronic and hard copy, to be included in Public Record. Includes protocol for "Management and Disposition of Electronic Mail". Members: Robert Hubby; Gordon Peabody.

11. Outreach (approved October, 2006). Outlines protocol for volunteer program to be conducted through Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod (APCC), to conduct salinity monitoring. Members: John Riehl; John Portnoy. 12. Access (approved October, 2006). Catalogue of issues related to restoration area use, including shell fishing, fishing, boating, hiking and necessary support for such activities. Members: John Riehl; Gordon Peabody.

13. Restoration Impacts (interim report presented October, 2006). On going investigation of property, abutters, structures and road ways, which could be potentially impacted by restoration. Members: Jack Whelan; John Portnoy; Joel Fox; Gordon Peabody. 14. Administration (in process). Developing definitions of membership and responsibility for the future "Over Sight" Committee, which will implement restoration. Members: John Riehl; Robert Hubby; Hillary Greenberg; John Portnoy; Gordon Peabody.

Want More Information?

1. Numerous additional documents are available upon request. Please contact Gordon Peabody at 508-237-3724 or click here gordonsafeharbor@yahoo.com

2. For access to most recent documents, such as agendas, draft plans, minutes and chairman's notes, go to the CURRENT DOCUMENTS page, at the very top of this page.

3. Restoration Brochure, background and general information. Just click on the link below to read the brochure.

Herring River Restoration Project Brochure

Herring River Restoration: Update

Working Groups were appointed, during the fall of 2006, to work on shorter term issues. "Working groups" may include participants outside of the Committee membership when necessary. These groups provide regular reports to and receive direction from, the full Committee.

MOU II Working Group is meeting every two weeks. Meeting locations are intentionally alternated, between Cape Cod National Seashore Headquarters and town halls in Truro and Wellfleet. From left: Hillary Greenberg; Rex Peterson; John Portnoy; Gary palmer; Carrie Phillips; Gordon Peabody

MOU II Working Group is meeting every two weeks. Meeting locations are intentionally alternated, between Cape Cod National Seashore Headquarters and town halls in Truro and Wellfleet. From left: Hillary Greenberg; Rex Peterson; John Portnoy; Gary palmer; Carrie Phillips; Gordon Peabody

1. Brochure. The Wellfleet Conservation Trust contributed $2,000 to sponsor an informational brochure describing the restoration effort. MA Coastal Zone Management contributed formatting and layout and MA Corporate Wetlands Partnership contributed $500 to cover additional printing costs. The brochure is currently available on the Outer Cape and by request (at no cost) from gordonsafeharbor@yahoo.com. Members: Tim Smith; John Portnoy; Stephen Spear; Gordon Peabody; Peter Hall, Wellfleet Conservation Trust; Dennis O'Connell, Wellfleet Conservation Trust.

2. Newsletter. The HRTC is creating a semi-monthly newsletter, to continue the outreach information stream initiated by the brochure. Members: John Portnoy; Tim Smith; Stephen Spear; Gordon Peabody.

3. Mosquitoes and Drainage. Working to develop a comprehensive, integrated, management plan to define healthy marsh habitat as a function of tidal flushing. Members: John Portnoy; Stephen Spear; Gordon Peabody; Gary Palmer; Gabrielle Sakolsky (Cape Cod Mosquito Control Program or CCMCP). This Working Group's final report (4th revision) was unanimously approved at the 3/19/07 HRTC meeting. This report is available on the CURRENT DOCUMENTS page

4. Low Lying Roadways. New Working Group appointed 3/19/07. Reviewing overflight and ground based data from ENSR consultants to determine specific areas of roads within the flood plain, paved and unpaved, which could eventually be impacted by incremental restoration. Working Group includes Town of Wellfleet DPW, John Riehl, and others to be named at 4/12/07 HRTC meeting. Town of Truro DPW will also be invited to the April 12 meeting.

5. By Pass Working Group. Newly appointed members will more formally research and act as liaison between the HRTC and Public Safety officials regarding use of a by pass during construction work at the Chequessett Neck dike. High Toss Road is being considered. This could save nearly a million dollars for the restoration project in construction delays and savings if a "by pass" was feasible. This might include widening turns, some grading and brush cutting and locating a water tank somewhere on the West side of the Herring River for fire emergencies. This tank would need to be underground because dike reconstruction would need to occur in winter due to numerous considerations such as human and migratory fish traffic.

5. Second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU II). The restoration of the Herring River needs to be coordinated between Federal (Cape Cod National Seashore or CCNS) and Local (towns of Truro and Wellfleet) entities. These critical, inter-governmental relationships need to be defined in a document referred to as a "memorandum of understanding". This MOU needs to determine the roles and responsibilities of the three entities. Members: Gary Palmer, Truro Board of Selectmen (and HRTC); Rex Peterson, Wellfleet Assistant Town Administrator; John Portnoy, CCNS (and HRTC); Carrie Phillips, CCNS Natural Resources Director; Hillary Greenberg, Town of Wellfleet Health and Conservation (and HRTC); Gordon Peabody HRTC .

Want More Information?

1. Numerous additional documents are available upon request. Please contact Gordon Peabody at 508-237-3724 or click here gordonsafeharbor@yahoo.com

2. For access to most recent documents, such as agendas, draft plans, minutes and chairman's notes, go to the CURRENT DOCUMENTS page, at the very top of this page.

3. Restoration Brochure, background and general information. Just click on the link below to read the brochure.

Herring River Restoration Project Brochure