Voices Along the Herring River

The Herring River Restoration is a proposed $40-$50 million project in Wellfleet. The idea is to remove the Chequessett dike, originally built in 1909, allowing seawater to flow up the river estuary, restoring the saltwater marsh. It would affect more than 1000 acres and six miles of waterways, and requires the construction of two secondary dikes. 

Within Wellfleet, there are those who are passionately in favor of the project. There are those who are opposed. And there are many who see both sides of this immense issue.

At WCAI, we were interested to hear some of these voices. This week reporter Stephanie Guyer-Stevens introduces us to three people connected to the Herring River, each with a different understanding of what’s at stake.

And on Thursday this week, Mindy Todd will host an hour-long discussion on The Point, looking at the Herring River Restoration project. We welcome your phone calls at 866-999-4626, emails at thepoint@capeandislands.org

friendsofherringriver.org

On The Point, we discuss the proposed Herring River project, which aims to restore and protect one of the largest impacted estuaries in New England. We hear about the research behind the plan, the different phases for implementation, and the concerns residents and property owners have about the scope and impact of the project.

 

Bringing Back the Big Meander

Jun 25, 2018
Stephanie Guyer-Stevens

As part one of our three-part series, Voices Along the Herring River, we hear from ecologist John Portnoy. He lives in Wellfleet and is part of the group advocating for the restoration project. He became involved back in the 1980s, shortly after the original dike had been rebuilt.

'I Never Want to Leave'

Jun 25, 2018
Stephanie Guyer-Stevens

In part two of our three-part series, Voices Along the Herring River, we hear from Judy Ellis, who lives adjacent to the project area. Ellis and her neighbor are the only private property owners, out of 17 impacted by the project, who chose not to allow flooding on their land. Ellis is 73 and has lived in the same house for more than 20 years, surrounded by her finches, her wind chimes and her collections. 

'You Gotta Think About the Whole Picture'

Jun 25, 2018
Stephanie Guyer-Stevens

In the final part of our three-part series, Voices Along the Herring River, we hear from Mike Parlante. He’s an oysterman. As a child in Wellfleet, he explored the estuary from end to end. And as a young man, he became involved in efforts to keep the existing river clear of debris, to allow herring to continue making their annual journey upstream to spawn. He believes much can be done to improve the Herring River using just simple tools, shovels and rakes, and a respectful attention.