The summer scene is back to normal this year at Pay and Inkwell beaches following a project this spring to renourish them with tons of clean sand dredged sand from underneath the Little Bridge.


Two downtown beaches in Oak Bluffs reopened to swimming Thursday after a two-day closure.


Pay Beach in Oak Bluffs has reopened for swimming, one day after it was ordered closed due to elevated levels of bacteria.

Oak Bluffs health agent Shirley Fauteux said Wednesday that a routine water sample taken on July 9 revealed higher than allowed levels of enterococcus, organisms that may indicate the presence of bacteria found in sewage. The beach was reopened Thursday when a subsequent water sample showed bacteria levels well below the range of what is considered safe for swimming.


A meeting at Oak Bluffs town hall on Wednesday was as much about a plan to mend the crumbling town waterfront as it was to mend frayed relations between certain town officials who disagree over what approach should be taken after a 30-ton retaining wall along Sea View avenue suddenly collapsed nearly a month ago.


A retaining wall estimated to weigh about 30 tons holding up a steeply sloping bank along Sea View avenue in Oak Bluffs collapsed suddenly Wednesday morning, sending town officials scrambling to repair the wall in time for the summer season and raising fresh questions about the structural integrity of certain parts of the town waterfront.


As a familiar stretch of Oak Bluffs waterfront continues its winter hibernation, the sand unblemished by human footprints or children's sand castles, plans are underway to breathe new life into what was once one of the busiest beaches on the Island.