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Check out before and after aerial views of Town Beach:

Before the sand was placed 


After the sand was placed


3D view after placement



Beach Update Summary 11/17/15


Beach Renourishment Plan (April 2014) 


Beach Management Plan (adopted 8/8/13) (Allow time for pages to load)



Contact your legislator for help with the beach!!!!


Click here for names and email addresses



It's not the same without the SAND

Not the Same without the SAND

Message from founding member and past president Irene Davis.


(Fall 2011)

This explains the situation, what has been done (by the town and by storms), and what is planned for the future.

Sandwich would really not be the same without the sand. There would be no beaches, no dunes and no marshes. The Sandwich marsh system is possibly 5000 yrs old. Crossing this marsh is the Sandwich Boardwalk, recently voted one of the top 10 boardwalks of the US by the National Geographic Society. It won this award for the natural beauty of the surrounding 'dunes, marshes and creek'. All of this history and beauty is at great risk because of the extensive loss of sand and erosion we are experiencing.


The west jetty on the Cape Cod Canal was extended over 50 years ago to keep sand out of the channel for shipping purposes. However, it is well-recognized that this has led to a blockage of the natural flow of sand that used to replenish our beaches. The resulting erosion has led to a significant loss in beach east of the canal and a significant build-up west of the canal as is clearly seen in the aerial picture. The boardwalk stairs were moved back 23 ft last year because of the erosion, and high tide is lapping them and undercutting the dune below them once again. The dunes have flattened significantly and there have been several breaches across the barrier beach where the waves have crashed into the marsh. The erosion has caused a widening of the entrance to the creek such that remarkably greater volumes of water enter the marsh system with each tide. Flood tides covering our cherished boardwalk, once rare, are now a common occurrence. The marsh's ecosystem is highly sensitive to rising sea levels, placing it at risk for great damage. Once we lose the barrier beach and marsh, our historic town and businesses are next in line.


Following 3-4 days last week of excessive tides, erosion and marsh flooding (ref. picture of boardwalk nearly covered one of those days) we were just hit with a Nor-easter with 75 mph winds. This has resulted in accelerated erosion, deepening of the breaches in the dunes and further marsh flooding (see video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o62Syrocoow). Each storm brings us closer to a total loss of the barrier beach. What is left of that narrow strip of beach is all that we have to protect us from the waves crashing into old Jarvisville, and the tides rolling across 6A.


There is a plan in place. Your town leaders have spent $350,000 developing a multi-pronged approach with consultation from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The plan involves stabilizing the ocean entrance to the creek, stabilizing the dunes, the current jetties and placing sand on the beach from the town beach to the canal. We have to have well over a dozen permits before we can begin. These permits are estimated to cost $150,000, which the town leaders are recommending come from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) Funds. Without these permits, we cannot move forward. We have already had to forfeit sand belonging to us that was dredged from the canal because we did not have the permits in place. We sadly watched that sand go off to Boston. The last sand that was placed on the beach was not allowed to be placed below the water line, as we did not have that specific permit. As a result, we sadly watched all that sand blow away within a couple of months.


Therefore, obtaining all of the permits is the next step. We have an opportunity to vote to support the use of CPA funds to obtain the needed permits at the Special Town Meeting held on Nov 7, 2011 at 7 pm. It is not only the beaches, marshes, and boardwalk, but also many of the businesses and our historic town that are at great risk. It is important that you vote to support this article so that the town can work to get the permits in place. It has been estimated that these will take 18 months to obtain... and time is running out. The final step is to secure the funds to execute the plan. The town is seeking federal assistance to help mitigate the problem created by the jetty extension by the Army Corps of Engineers. Other avenues of support are also being explored. You can also help by joining the newly formed 501(c)3 organization named 'Trustees of Sandwich Beaches'. This group is made up of concerned citizens who are committed to working to save our beaches. The mission of the group is "To promote the restoration of Sandwich ocean beaches, dunes, salt marsh, and the protection of them from further erosion in order to preserve the natural beauty of the Sandwich shoreline and historic town, districts and boardwalk; to promote a balance of public access to the beaches and the conservation of their natural habitat; to ensure the long-term stabilization of Sandwich beaches so they can be enjoyed for generations to come." If you live in Sandwich, grew up in Sandwich, vacation in Sandwich or just love its natural beauty, you can make a difference by joining this group


You can join through the website: www.trusteesofsandwichbeaches.com. We truly need your help. I have spoken to individuals who believe there is nothing we can do to reverse this process – that erosion is inevitable. While erosion does naturally happen, there is a natural amount of replenishment that typically occurs. We have been robbed of the natural replenishment of sand because of the jetty extension. Historical maps show our beaches, dunes and marshes to be relatively stable prior to the extension. Initially, the changes due to this jetty extension were small and unnoticeable. But erosion is exponential – the more you lose, the faster you lose it. The amount of loss is alarmingly obvious now to even the most casual observer. However, there is hope. There are many, many other examples of coastal communities who have made the commitment to their beaches and successfully reversed the erosion. There are examples of sand bypass systems to compensate for sand loss due to jetty-type structures. But we have to make a conscious decision to take care of our treasured beaches, boardwalk and marshes. Remember that inaction is also a choice. If we close our eyes to this, when we wake up, it will all be gone - and we will all be responsible.


We are truly at a tipping point and need to act now.



Meetings & Events

Come and join us at the following meetings and events to help promote and protect our beaches!


Next TSB Meeting:

*** Monday  April 6 2020

6:30 pm


At Cafe Chew

(**First Monday of the month) 

Meeting Minutes

Become a Member! Donate!

Suggested Membership/Donation Levels
Donations can be mailed to
Trustees of Sandwich Beaches
PO Box 322
Sandwich, MA 02563