High Surf, Rip Current Warning in Effect Wednesday

The National Weather Service has issued an advisory Wednesday for high surf and a high risk of dangerous rip currents along ocean beaches on the south coast of the Vineyard.

Concern About Emergency Access to Private Beaches in Aquinnah

With the summer season approaching, the town of Aquinnah is looking to better emergency access to Squibnocket Pond after a recent incident left responders with few options.

New State Regulations Could Mean Fewer Beach Closures

Fewer beach closures are expected this summer due to changes in state regulations governing swimming safety. Under the new rules, water samples will have to show high bacteria counts on two consecutive days before a beach is closed.

Riptide Warning for South Shore Has Expired

South-facing beaches along Martha’s Vineyard are under high risk for rip currents today, the National Weather Service has announced. The warning will remain in effect through Monday evening.

In response to the warning, The Trustees of Reservations has closed the beach at Long Point Wildlife Refuge. Swimmers are encouraged to use the pond for swimming.

County Awarded Grant for Beach Rehabilitation

The Department of Conservation and Recreation has awarded the county a $75,000 grant to help finance a beach rehabilitation project, Dukes County manager Martina Thornton informed the county commissioners last week. The money will be used to move sand from Eastville Beach in Oak Bluffs to Joseph Sylvia State Beach, which lost a considerable amount of sand during Hurricane Sandy.

The grant will not completely cover the sand transport, but would give the county “starting seed money,” Ms. Thornton said.

After the Riptide, Fear Still Lingers

Last Sunday, while chasing waves in the Atlantic Ocean at Philbin Beach with my 11-year old granddaughter, I noticed the surf, which had been crashing in, had suddenly disappeared. The ocean I was standing in up to my waist seemed eerily calm. The sandy shore behind me lay perfectly flat, like a sheet of paper. How peculiar.

Readers: Clean the Beach, Get Deal on Bonobo Book

It’s a whole new, clean green spin on trashy books: on Saturday, August 30, Island author Mathea Levine will sign copies of her new definitely not trashy book I’m Lucy: A Day in the Life of a Young Bonobo at Riley’s Reads in Vineyard Haven — but kids will receive a 20 per cent discount on copies of the book if they bring three or more pieces of beach trash they’ve collected.

Computer Images Show Views

As wind power development looms over the Island, planning agencies and other organizations are beginning to come to terms with what that will mean visually. The Martha’s Vineyard Commission and Vineyard Power have each developed visual simulations to show what Vineyard horizons will look like dotted with wind farms.

And depending on your persuasion, the altered seascapes represent either a pristine panorama blighted by industrial machinery or a stirring reminder of the Island’s potential energy independence.

Storm Causes Heavy Erosion From Chappy to Great Rock Bight, Especially at Wasque

While tropical storm Irene did little damage inland save a good salt blasting and natural pruning of trees, the storm drastically reshaped parts of the Island’s coastline when it blew through last Sunday. At Wasque Reservation on Chappaquiddick, 22 feet of south-facing beach fell into the ocean in a 24-hour period. And around the Island conservation officials reported significant losses of beachfront and dramatically altered shorelines. Beaches that were wide ribbons of sand just last week are now nothing but rocks and boulders, and vice versa.

To Swim or Not To Swim, That Is The Beach Question

A large number of beaches in West Tisbury and Oak Bluffs were closed to swimming this week due to high levels of enterococcus bacteria found during routine water testing. Health agents in those two towns put out notices about the closures.

Then some, but not all, of the beaches were opened again.

At press time Thursday the following beaches remained closed: Lambert’s Cove and the ocean side of Long Point in West Tisbury; and Inkwell Beach, Pay Beach, Madeiros Cove (near the drawbridge on the Lagoon Pond) and Eastville Beach in Oak Bluffs.

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