Rockport Harbormaster
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Harbormaster & Waterfront Committee Reports

Annual Reports for year ending December 31, 1999.


The Rockport Harbor Department had a routinely busy season, starting in the spring with float work and general maintenance. The summer progressed with a high flow of visiting boaters who have discovered that Rockport is a wonderful place to visit. Many boaters traveling the East Coast stop in Rockport both coming and going from a cruise. It is also a great day or weekend trip from many North Shore areas. Our facilities are limited, though adequate and friendly.

Rockport benefits from the States Clean Waters Act Pump Out Program, which is available to all boaters. Communities accepted into this program are provided with a 22' powerboat with a 300-gallon holding tank for the waste products. The program continues to make boaters aware that the oceans must be kept clean.

The Rockport Harbor Department continues to remain active in the North Shore Harbormaster Association. This Association has over 80 members from 25 communities between Salisbury and the Merrimac River down to Winthrop. During the winter months the NSHM Association works with the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Council to conduct training classes for Harbormasters. Harbormasters must complete 351 hours of initial harbormaster training to become a Massachusetts Certified Harbormaster. Once you have successfully completed this course, in-service training is provided to all Certified Harbormasters. Both Rockport Harbormasters are certified with Assistant Ron Petoff nearing completion of the course.

The above photo shows our newest "storage" building. We thank Jack Monroe and his DPW co-workers for making this a beautiful addition to the waterfront.

The Harbor Department continues to work with local agencies to make the emergency response system run smoothly. We also work closely with the Coast Guard and Environmental Police on situations ranging from search and rescue to shellfish issues.

As shellfish officers we are routinely checking divers and lobstermen for shellfish violations. We are most frequently checking for short lobsters. The minimum body length for a lobster is 31/4". This year State officials decided to keep the larger lobsters from being taken, and established a maximum body length of 5". The measurement on the lobster is taken from the eye socket down the back to the base of the shell body.

Our season has slowed down the continuing work on T-Wharf. The NW side of T-Wharf has been under construction to repair the deteriorating area. We expect the project to be completed by spring and the wharf back to normal next season. Thanks to all local boaters for being patient during the on going disruption.

The Rockport Harbor Department will continue to work with other local agencies to keep Rockport a safe and interesting place to live and visit.

Harbormasters - Rosemary Lesch and Scott Story
Assistant Harbormaster - Ron Petoff


It's been another frustrating year for the committee! Unfortunately, the $250,000 allocated for the ramp replacement got tangled in the bureaucracy, and after much negotiating with the Coast Guard, we had no choice but to agree to have them replace the ramp with wood, with the understanding that it would entail no cost to the Town ...and upon completion, the transfer of ownership of the south end of the island would be completed. On the positive side, the civilian engineer for the Coast Guard appears to understand our concerns and is attempting to take steps to make a more secure installation than the previous two replacements.

The usual hardy volunteers, spurred on by Dr. Wedmore and the Carrolls, continued the limited on-island care and maintenance. The biggest project was building a temporary ramp extension to make access to the Island safer.

Paul St. Germain completed and submitted the forms for application for nomination to be accepted as a NATIONAL LANDMARK. It should be considered and voted on in the Spring. All members of the committee have been especially supportive and cooperative during this difficult period ...and all are looking forward to seeing Thacher Island activities "back on track".

John and Mary Bennett


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