Cape Cod Coast Continues to Erode

A massive new dune, protecting Sandwich, Massachusetts, from dangerous erosion and punishing storms, is already under assault.

"More got eroded than people would've liked, but we still have a lot of the dune left," Laura Wing, president of the Trustees of Sandwich Beaches, said on Thursday.

Last weekend, just days after completion, a blizzard battered the dune and robbed it of sand.

"We've worked really hard to get to this point, and it's frustrating a storm that literally happens a week after the bull dozers and the dredge leaves," Town Manager Bud Dunham said.

This dune project is 20 years, and millions of dollars, in the making.

Drone footage gathered by the Trustees of Sandwich Beaches shows the process from above. Sand pours onto Town Neck Beach after being dredged from the Cape Cod Canal.

The sudden loss makes some, like Sandwich resident Bob Aubin, question the town's investment.

"I don't want to see them spend money," Aubin said. "We'll let nature take its course."

Many in town, including Wing, acknowledge there's no permanent fix to stop erosion. She still supports the dune project, and expected even more sand to be used.

"Hopefully, the next step is the town wants to make up the difference and find out a way to do that," she said of the additional sand.

One option that the town is investigating involves moving sand from Cape Cod Bay onto the beach. In the more immediate future sea grass will be planted on the dune to stabilize it, and scientists will study where the sand goes once it washes away from the dune.

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