• Officials scrambling to help eroded Plum Island before nesting birds return

    By: Jessica Reyes


    Nearly one month after a massive nor'easter submerged the coastline over three high tide cycles, places like Plum Island are still dealing with the aftermath.

    A stretch of the Northern Reservation Sand Dune has seen such severe erosion over the past few months, that Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday says they need to move sand into the area now - before things get worse.

    "Right now the emergency is to get this project done next week," said Holaday.

    The area was one of the hardest hit spots in Plum Island in terms of erosion during the March 2 nor'easter. 

    >> RELATED: These before and after photos show how much damage the nor'easter did

    On Thursday, the mayor will be on sight - with representatives from the Department of Conservation & Recreation - to decide where they will be adding sand to protect homes.

    "We have seen what's happened on the South Shore in places like Scituate and we have an opportunity now to rebuild this area, this dune area," said Holaday.

    Officials are trying to get as much work done before Saturday - because starting in April, piping plovers return. They typically stay until September - limiting the amount of construction that can be done.

    Katherine Parsons of the Mass. Audubon Society says they will be working closely to make sure any work being done doesn't disturb the endangered birds.

    "There will be extra monitoring to make sure the birds aren't active where they are going to be putting the sand," said Parsons. 

    The work being done in the next week is just a small portion of what the mayor says they need to do from here, but people who live on Plum Island say it's just a part of the life there. 

    >> MORE: Erosion a major problem in Plymouth after back-to-back nor'easters

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