Coastal Geologist Presents Glacial Data

            Sea Marsh Way is a short stretch of land located in and near Mattapoisett’s coastline nestled between Pine Island and Angelica Point. A small lot of land is being considered for development by owner Constance O. Pallatroni Living Trust, prompting the need to confirm the property is not, in fact, barrier beach.

            Coming before the Mattapoisett Conversation Commission on February 10 was Stan Humphries, coastal geologist. Humphries said, “It is not a barrier beach,” although the state’s mapping has labeled the area as such. He said that three test pits had penetrated layers of soil and that those soils had been tested to find out whether or not they were beach dunes subject to movement. 

            “I placed soils in water to determine the silt layering,” Humphries explained. He said that there was no “…discernable layering”, therefore the area in question had not been “washed over” in the past. “It’s glacial till,” he stated, “…not exposed to coastal processes.” Humphries concluded, “I’m not saying there isn’t a barrier beach out there; just the area I looked at isn’t.” 

            Glacial till is created by the movement of glaciers which deposit sediment, a scrambled mixture of sands and rocks.

            The applicant’s Request for Determination of Applicability received a negative decision as Chairman Mike King commented, “I see no reason to question the result and no reason to delay the project further.” Later in the meeting, King confirmed that the property owners are likely to develop the parcel now that it’s been established as viable for residential construction.

            The commissioners, Chapman Dickerson, John Jacobsen, and King, quickly dispatched the balance of the agenda. 

            An RDA submitted by the Mattapoisett’s Water and Sewer Department to prepare bore-testing along Reservation and Goodspeed Island Roads to support the design of a new sewer pipe beneath and near jurisdictional areas received a negative-three decision.

            Another municipal project had to be continued until February 24 when the town’s representative, Ken Motta of Field Engineering, arrived after the meeting had been adjourned. That filing was a Notice of Intent for the replacement of a bridge and culvert on Acushnet Road.

            Also continued until February 24 was an NOI filed by Stephen Coughlin, 40 Prince Snow Circle, for the construction of a single-family home within the Bay Club sub-division. King said that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection had questions including the presence of endangered species. The commission’s environmental agent, Liz Leidhold, had also requested that erosion controls and flagging be replaced at the site. The representative for the project is Stephen Wry of Land Planning Inc.

            Another application continued was an NOI filed by The Sandy Toes Realty Trust, Scott Snow Trustee, 27 Nashawena Road, pending a D.E.P. file number and associated comments.

            Alan Apperson, 17 River Road, received conditioning for his NOI filing for the construction of a new septic system.

            Receiving Certificates of Compliance were: Tim Fox, 3 Pinebrook Lane; Patricia Cunniff, 9 Avenue A; and Scott Snow, 27 Nashawena Road.

            In other business the commissioners concurred that a new NOI filing was not necessary for excavation along Reservation Road, part of Phase 1b of the bike path construction currently underway, for the purposes of relocating electrical service associated with a gas rectifier. The additional work was considered “minimal” to the plan of record.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for February 24 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell

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