USACE Proposes Provincetown Long Point Dike Modification

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, is completing a study to consider modifications to Long Point Dike in Provincetown, Mass., to improve the habitat quality of estuarine resources in West End Marsh.

The non-Federal project partner for the study and project implementation is the town of Provincetown.

At the request of the town, the Corps initiated this study for habitat restoration under the authority contained in Sec. 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, as amended.

Long Point Dike has effectively blocked the hydraulic connection between Cape Cod Bay and West End Marsh, which has impeded fish passage and restricts the natural flow of salt water behind the dike, thereby negatively impacting the utilization, quality and biodiversity of those habitats.

The goal of the project is to restore the hydraulic connectivity between Cape Cod Bay and West End Marsh to restore passage of large fish and invertebrates to approximately 385 acres of estuarine habitat located behind Long Point Dike.

Prior to the construction of Long Point Dike, the West End Marsh was an unrestricted, fully functioning estuarine ecosystem.

The dike created a substantial hydraulic impediment that acts as a physical barrier to larger fish and invertebrates that would otherwise inhabit the ecosystem.

The proposed project will involve breaching approximately 10 feet of the existing dike and installing a bridge over the breached area to maintain access along the top of the dike. Rock removed to construct the opening would either be removed from the site by the contractor or reused on other projects.

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