The Newburyport Daily News reports that scientists are taking a closer look at the Merrimack River jetties as the Army Corp of Engineers considers how to make repairs.
While there is $3.5million earmarked for the necessary repairs to the much deteriorated jetties, determination of whether they should be shortened, lengthened, or changed still must be contemplated. The last time the jetties were repaired was over 40 years ago. In the meantime, Plum Island continues to experience erosion and some say this is due to the both jetties have seen large gaps torn in their upper structure by storms, a problem that has allowed tidal currents to rush through. These currents are widely believed to have worsened beach erosion at the northern end of Plum Island.
The article states that the federal government began first studying the flow of water and sand at the mouth of the Merrimack back in 1826. Mother Nature has thrown a few surprises and models developed over the years haven’t quite worked as planned. Let’s hope that they get it right this time and that the fate of Plum Island is changed for the better.