Usage of the major portion of Beach Cove will no longer be possible. The primary recreational areas and navigational channels in lower tide will be lost.
The regulations call for each of the proposed 25 one-acre plots to be individually marked at each corner with 6” in diameter PVC posts rising five feet above water at high tide (and eight feet at low), each with foot-long reflective orange markers, the plots all ringed by bright buoys. Twenty-foot navigation channels are carved out in between each acre, designed to accommodate up to 25-foot-long work boats, some using noisy winches, that will travel in and out at any hour to work on the plots. An unknown number and type of floating oyster cages will be used. Lessees will be using the equipment of their choice, so there may be little uniformity, the gear all worked and cleaned in sight and hearing of residents and users seeking quiet recreation. Standards for cleanup of plots remains unclear. This is particularly problematic in the event of a major storm and leads to concerns about contamination.
The introduction of Commercial Oyster Industry in Beach Cove will dramatically limit the ability to navigate and recreate in these waters, qualities that were supposed to be protected in the legislation that created the SADAs. In addition, there will be a dramatic impact on the wonderful scenic qualities of Beach Cove which attracted many of the property owners to the surrounding communities. As a result, we believe that the proposed SADAs will have a significant negative impact on both the quality of life and property values of the communities that surround Beach Cove.
It is unclear what impact all of this intrusion will have on the wildlife in the cove.We are concerned about the clam population, invasive species, and that Beach Cove was not adequately surveyed to be considered as a zone which would exclude oyster industry. We are also very concerned about the nesting and feeding patterns of the ospreys, eagles, herons, and other birds that populate our Cove and the effect on the thriving Diamondback Terrapin population.