About 35,000 cubic yards of sand have been deposited on the beach below Sea View avenue in Oak Bluffs, out of a total of nearly 85,000 yards scheduled to be placed on the beach to rebuild it as part of a $400,000 federal erosion control project now under way.
In addition to the beach buildup, a 570-foot stone groin is being built perpendicular to the shore out into Nantucket Sound to reduce further erosion of the town bathing and recreation area.
Several worried observers have expressed concern at the discoloration of the shallow water along the beach often extending down the Oak Bluffs shore as far as the East Chop Beach Club. But, according to Bruce Wigton, superintendent of the project for Hydro Dredge Corporation of Falmouth the discoloration is merely due to “fines” suspended in solution for a period after the water is disturbed. After one or two tides, these small particles of sand will fall to the bottom. The west setting tide carries the sand, called by Oak Bluffs selectmen George W. Kennedy “dust”, along in suspension, the engineer explained.
Mrs. Donald A. Roberts, chairman of the Oak Bluffs conservation commission, made inquiries this weekend concerning the discolored water, and found, to her satisfaction that the project is on its way towards creating a large new bathing beach for the town.
Hydro Dredge Corporation also has the job of dredging the entrance to the Lagoon Pond in Vineyard Haven harbor this summer. The prime contractor for this federal project, which includes a 200-foot extension of an existing jetty to the east of the Lagoon entrance channel, is North Atlantic Dredging, but the Falmouth firm will do the work.
According to Mr. Wigton, hopes are high that work on the Vineyard Haven project will begin within two weeks, but Mrs. Roberts expressed concern that water temperature by that time may be too high to allow the work to begin.

Endangered Crop

When the water temperature reaches approximately 64 degrees, Mrs. Roberts explained, bay scallop spat floats at the surface, and the disturbance due to dredging could endanger the prospects for next year’s crop.
A similar concern was expressed recently by Donald J. King, Tisbury shellfish constable and harbormaster.
“Lover’s Rock” in Oak Bluffs will disappear sometime this week when it is covered up by the sand being used as fill to build the new groin for the town. This was made clear by Selectman Anthony J. Rebello at the selectmen’s meeting last Thursday when he said, “We have been waiting for this beach project for some time and Lovers’ Rock will be a thing of the past, we can’t build around it.”
Lawrence J. DeBettencourt, shellfish constable, asked the board if the members could find $200 or $300 that was not being used as his department would like to widen the opening at Brush Pond to increase the flow of water. He said that a similar project is being carried out at Farm Pond but no additional money is needed for that as he has unexpended funds in his own department.
He predicted a good supply of quahogs in about three years for the town as a result of the continued purchasing of seed and the opening of only certain sections of the ponds each year. He said “Each town gets quahogs every week and will continue to do so as long as the money lasts. All the towns have been sharing in the shellfish through the newly formed shellfish association but only Edgartown and Oak Bluffs are purchasing now, the other towns having run out of money.