Coast Guard favorable to keeping Mattapoisett buoys
Mattapoisett — Mattapoisett will likely keep some of the navigational markers the Coast Guard had scheduled for removal, following a meeting at Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Wednesday night.
As a cost-cutting measure, the Coast Guard originally proposed to remove or relocate more than 40 navigational buoys across the region. Four were targeted in Mattapoisett: one near Long Wharf, two around Angelica Point and another on Snow Rock. Harbormaster Jill Simmons alerted Selectmen to the issue in June and said one buoy at Angelica Point and the Snow Rock marker need to stay for boater safety.
Town Administrator Mike Gagne said, with help from Rep. Bill Keating (D) and Rep. Bill Strauss (D) as well as Coast Guard Capt. Richard Schultz, a regional meeting was scheduled to discuss the buoys.
Simmons spoke on behalf of the town on Wednesday night, and she said Coast Guard representatives were favorable to keeping one of two buoys at Angelica Point (labeled 6 and 8 on navigational maps) in close proximity to each other. The remaining buoy will be adjusted slightly.
“I’m satisfied with the relocation of the 6 because the 6 and 8 were so close together, but to remove the one from Angelica was basically non-negotiable,” Simmons said. “You could think it’s clear sailing and then there’s a series of rocks in front of you.”
At Snow Rock, the Coast Guard representatives said they could put a lit marker where there is currently only a triangular day marker.
The final buoy, labeled 10, and located near Long Wharf is not too important due to its location near the pier, Simmons said.
Also up for discussion at the meeting was nearby Robinson’s Hole, between Naushon Island and Pasque Island. Simmons said the majority of those in attendance spoke against removing the navigational buoy there.
“That was a serious bone of contention,” she said.
The buoy at the entrance to Westport Harbor also drew comments.
“I think the Coast Guard got a very good message, in understanding what they may not have had a flavor for from their regulatory standpoint,” said Gagne.
The Coast Guard’s decision on the buoys is expected by Nov. 1.