Wingaersheek Beach winter whites #GloucesterMA

Scenes from Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts, an icy wonderland after first winter storm 2019

color off but still wingaersheek beach gloucester mass_gif_after first winter storm 2019 © catherine ryan

In the news: as #GloucesterMA Annisquam River Bridge readies for MBTA rebuild – is there time for design?

I don’t suggest that the treacherous bridge needs to be “preserved” or want to impede progress. However, I believe there is still time to repeat my pleas (since 2012). Great design impacts future investment. Is there a small way that the design can tip its hat to Edward Hopper, Gloucester, and New England for this landmark and beacon for Cape Ann, this cherished vista across the Great Marsh?

See GMG POST September 9, 2017 for design nod aesthetic suggestions (rather than structural) The budget is good!  “Does the MBTA new design for the Annisquam River Bridge look like a prison tower to you?” 

Here’s how the bridge and new condos looked November 9, 2018 (double click to enlarge photos from the wordpress mosaic format)

 

 

January 8, 2019 article by Ray Lamont Gloucester Daily project. “READYING FOR REBUILD”

the design plans illustrated are the same as published previously

gloucester daily times ray lamont coverage new annisquam commuter bridge january 2019

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Enjoying scenic overlook on Thatcher Road walkway to Good Harbor Beach

Beautiful build by Gloucester DPW to Good Harbor Beach is seeing steady use. The new pedestrian bridge spanning the marsh little river makes it easy to linger over a sweeping November vista to Good Harbor Beach and back.

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Prior posts on Good Morning Gloucester about the marsh walkway under construction. 

October 6, 2018 snazzy new guardrails

September 12, 2018   construction begins

TRAILER! NEW FILM -“RECIPE FOR DISASTER: GREEN CRABS IN THE GREAT MARSH”

Check out the trailer for Nubar Alexanian’s forthcoming tremendous documentary Recipe for Disaster: Green Crabs in the Great Marsh. A first-time screening will be held at the Cape Ann Cinema on Tuesday, September 18th at 7:30pm sharp.

The trailer may be viewed here.

 

DPW making public works work: great marsh walk along Thatcher Road from Good Harbor Beach entrance to footbridge Gloucester Massachusetts

View to Good Harbor Beach across marsh_from the future sidewalk_Gloucester Mass_2018 June 30_©catherine ryan
back of Good Harbor Beach, framed and open views across marsh from Thatcher Road, June 2018  

Walk this way! Part 1- Pilings In, Guardrails Gone!

A new mini marsh promenade is underway along Thatcher Road from Gloucester’s Good Harbor Beach entrance all the way around to the foot bridge. Walkers will have safe access via sidewalks and a natural path.

Gloucester has been planning for an opportunity to extend safer pedestrian access along Thatcher Road for years. When National Grid scheduled replacing antiquated gas lines along the busiest and scenic stretch, Gloucester Public Works was ready to seize the opportunity with collaborative solutions sensitive to conservation. Sidewalk upgrades were built out at both ends and paused until National Grid completed its underground infrastructure work. Prior to paving, Thatcher Road will be widened slightly to accommodate a safe and scenic path. The city hoped to complete repairs and paving by autumn and is on track to meet that goal. This week crews were clearing brush. The rusty guardrail was removed and will be replaced with a new design. “It will all happen quickly now,” says Mike Hale, director of Public Works.

 

Before marsh walk _Thatcher Road_Gloucester Mass_2018 June 19_future DPW work by great marsh ©catherine Ryan
BEFORE June 2018 ©catherine ryan

Rusty rail outta here_Thatcher Road slightly widened_pedestrian safe and access_great marsh back of Good Harbor_Gloucester Mass_2018 Sept 11 ©catherine Ryan

Thatcher Road Under Construction

There’s an ideal and creative scenic overlook solution over the river that’s under construction off site. I can’t wait for the reveal! I have been documenting progress and will post various updates, fast stats and history as another impressive project moves along.

New pedestrian walkway_Thatcher Road_Public Works_Gloucester MA_ 2018 Sept 11_©catherine ryan (1)

New pedestrian walkway_Thatcher Road_Public Works_Gloucester MA_ 2018 Sept 11_©catherine ryan (3)

Gloucester’s great marsh walk will afford safer access for sweeping seasonal observation

winter, spring, summer, fall 

 

One of my favorite Gloucester motifs, Gloucester oxbow, view from Thatcher Road 

Gloucester motifs_Gloucester oxbow_at the back of Good Harbor Beach_view from Thatcher Road_2017 Februray 5©c ryan.jpg

When a field trip is a field trip! Mass Audubon and O’Maley Middle School

Gloucester public schools have stellar community partners and locales

Mass Audubon Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Two+ centuries of naturalists in Gloucester is quite a legacy. Here’s a partial list from Robbins to Cramer and Smith to Smith–there have been notable champions most every decade.

  • Mason Walton (Hermit of Gloucester)
  • Alpheus Hyatt, principal founder of world famous Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole– from 1880-1886 the school was on Goose Cove and later off Lobster Cove
  • BH VanVleck  (wrote book with David Starr)- instructor at Annisquam seaside laboratory 
  • Samuel Sawyer land conservation
  • Alfred G. Mayor (Hyatt’s son in law) marine zoologist- his studies on marine life led to 1905 book Sea Shore Life
  • Prince Mahidol of Thailand “Sanitary Survey of the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts 1921 by M. Songkla” in city archives- Includes brief history of Gloucester and description of public health activities
  • Roger Babson land conservation and watershed
  • Dr. Ralph Dexter, began his studies on marine life in 1933 (later Kent State) and chimney swifts
  • Ivy LeMon banded monarch butterflies to trace their migration wintering in Mexico
  • Sara Fraser Robbins curator of education ( the title of her classic book The Sea is All About Us was a nod to Gloucester summer resident TS Eliot’ Four Quartets)
  • Betty Smith
  • Dan Greenbaum
  • Sara Evans
  • Philip Weld, Jr
  • Jane Benotti
  • Deborah Cramer
  • Chris Leahy
  • Harriet Webster
  • Martin Ray
  • Kim Smith
  • Ian Kerr

organizations such as Gloucester Civic and Garden Club, Essex County Greenbelt, Mass Audubon, Ocean Alliance, Martime Gloucester, UMASS Marine Station…

easternpoint-iba

Summer Beach Traffic and Parking Part 2 – high tech and common sense Good Harbor Beach, Long Beach, Stage Fort, Great Marsh

This is a follow up about the public meeting held by Gloucester City Councilor Scott Memhard February 15, 2018 at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library on beach traffic and parking with a focus on his ward. This post includes Councilor Memhard’s meeting notes, and the Beach & Traffic Ad Hoc committee presentation to City Council. Look for information and maps related to Long Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Stage Fort Park, and more. Chances are your ideas or concerns were mentioned–doublecheck for yourself. Future public meetings to be announced.

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Here’s the presentation packet to the City Council from the Gloucester Beach Parking and Traffic Ad Hoc Committee, January 2017

Here’s Councilor Memhard’s recap of the Summer Beach and Traffic public meeting held at Sawyer Free Library February 16, 2018 (advertised in the Beacon, Gloucester Daily Times, and elsewhere long in advance):

“The Ward 1 Beach Parking Ordinance community meeting last night at the library was well attended. We had a lively airing of concerns and opinions, addressing the specific Parking Ordinance proposed changes, and general, wide-ranging discussion of the problem and various potential solutions, including:

> expanded off-site parking* and trolly/bus service to the beaches;
> better signage notifying drivers that lots are full and closed, with posted directions to alternate parking options; and
> other practical steps to relieve severe safely, access, and disruption from on-street parking congestion in our beach neighborhoods.

*park n ride options would ease traffic especially with smartphone reservations/options. Locales like Rockport, Manchester, Provincetown limit cars. Several lots mentioned maximizing extant options such as negotiating with Stop&Shop, Shaws, Fuller, Blackburn, schools, etc. Stage Fort Shuttle already established and more train/bike. Train-trolley services have a rich history here.

ENFORCEMENT, HIGHER PARKING TICKETS, JULIE BROE 🙂

Continue reading “Summer Beach Traffic and Parking Part 2 – high tech and common sense Good Harbor Beach, Long Beach, Stage Fort, Great Marsh”

Ready set sled…almost! TOHP Burnham Library Essex MA

beautiful spot to sled Essex ma TOHP Burnham IMG_20180108_163434

TOHP BURNHAM LIBRARY, ESSEX, MA is sited upon another breathtaking Cape Ann landscape with an easy family slope for winter fun.

Great effort! Sweet son gave a proper push to mom, intending to hop aboard, while his older sister raced on.

running to catch up. Almost! Great push though sledding Essex MA

Boston Globe lists the Great Marsh symposium NOV 9th- public invited

20161029_075405TOMORROW

Great marsh logoThere’s still time to register today or walk in tomorrow for the Great Marsh Coalition 5th annual special conference on rising water issues and natural systems. Register thru Essex County Greenbelt $20 fee  WHEN: November 9, 2017, 8:30AM- 3:15PM. WHERE: Woodman’s in Essex.

From the Great Marsh Coaltion:

Generous Great Marsh coalition symposium supporters (many are coalition members)- local municipalities, Essex County Greenbelt, Essex National Heritage Area, Mass Audubon, Ipswich River Watershed  Assoc., League of Women Voters Cape Ann, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC), National Wildlife Federation, and The Trustees 

What is the Great Marsh Coalition?

The Great Marsh Coalition is a group of organizations and agencies that began meeting in spring 2000 to discuss ways of building a regional consciousness and identity for the Great Marsh. The Coalition supports a coordinated approach to education, research, protection, and management to promote preservation, restoration, and stewardship of the Great Marsh. Current Coalition members include (but are not limited to): City of Gloucester is one of Eight Towns and the Great MarshEssex County Greenbelt AssociationEssex National Heritage AreaIpswich River Watershed AssociationMassachusetts Audubon SocietyMassachusetts Office of Coastal Zone ManagementMassachusetts Department of Environmental Management’s ACEC ProgramParker River Clean Water Association, Cultural Alliance of the Lower Merrimack Valley, and The Trustees of Reservations.

GREAT MARSH COALITION

Boston Globe article and Continue reading “Boston Globe lists the Great Marsh symposium NOV 9th- public invited”

THEY’RE BACK – OSPREYS, HERONS, EGRETS, AND MORE – SPRING HAS SPRUNG ON THE MARSHES!

Great Egret Flying Over Perched Osprey

There is much to chortle about in this latest Cape Ann Winged Creature Update. Early April marked the arrival of both Snowy and Great Egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons and Great Blue Herons. Osprey pairs and evidence of Osprey nest building can be seen wherever Essex Greenbelt platforms have been installed. Northern Pintail and American Wigeon Ducks are stopping over at our local ponds on their northward migrations while scrub and shrub are alive with the vibrant song of love birds singing their mating calls. Oh Happy Spring!

Ospreys Nest Building

Northern Mockingbirds Singing 

Blackbird Tree

Female American Wigeon

Gadwall (center), Male Pintail, Mallards, Male and Female American Wigeons 

Essex Salt Marsh Panorama

Essex Salt Marsh ©Kim Smith 2015Still frozen, the Essex Salt Marsh panorama was taken yesterday.

Click to see full size.

As we were talking about salt marshes on a recent podcast, the following is information provided by the Massachusetts Bays Program:

The Essex Salt Marsh is part of the 17,000 acre Great Marsh that extends from Cape Ann into New Hampshire. Salt marshes are found in coastal areas. These unique ecosystems are formed within protective estuaries and support numerous plants and animals. Salt marshes are among the most productive lands on earth, outcompeting even the best-managed farms. Two-thirds of all marine fish and shellfish depend on salt marshes during some portion of their lives.

Salt marshes are divided into two general vegetation zones. The Low Marsh is flooded twice daily by the incoming tide and is dominated by Spartina alternifolia (low salt marsh grass). The High Marsh is flooded sporadically and is dominated by Spartina patens (high salt marsh grass). Salt marshes contain tidal creeks, pools, and islands of high ground, and serve as highly efficient pollution filters.

Nationwide, vast areas of salt marsh have been destroyed by filling, dredging, and developing upland areas. The Great Marsh has escaped much of this destruction, but it is impacted by pollution runoff and mosquito control ditches built in the 1930s, and by road and rail crossings, which restrict tidal flows to upstream marshes.