Rockport Harbormaster
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Harbormaster & Waterfront Committee Reports

Annual Reports for year ending December 31, 2000.

Dismasted Sailboat
Vessel Assisted by Rockport Patrol


The Rockport Harbor Department had a busy season starting in mid-April when we launched the patrol boat, till the end of December when the boat was taken out. The season did not have the best weather but the boating public continued to be active on Cape Ann. We had a record number of visiting boats both in Rockport Harbor and out in Sandy Bay.

Our season starts by preparing the patrol boat, launching it, launching over 50 floats and securing them in the designated harbors, checking moorings and other equipment that is necessary to manage Rockport's three harbors.

The Rockport Harbor Department works closely with the Coast Guard on search and rescue cases and with the Massachusetts Environmental Police covering stolen boat cases, shellfish issues and other related matters.

We continue to offer Harbor Office Hours on Thursday evenings from 7 pm - 8:30 pm year round at the Town Hall. Persons with questions and concerns are invited to join us.

The Rockport Harbormasters are active members in the Massachusetts Harbormasters Association-North Shore. The North Shore Division is made up of close to 100 Harbormasters and their Assistants. It is an active group that does yearly training and meets monthly to keep up on issues in the North Shore boating communities.

Assistant Harbormaster Ron Petoff has created the Rockport Harbor Department website and also a large site for the North Shore Harbormaster Association in which 27 communities are represented.

Thank you to all the local agencies that have assisted us during the past year.

Assisted the public 48
Search and rescue 5
Shipwrecks 2
Divers in distress 4
Medical calls 8
Investigate flare sightings 3
Oil spill/fuel spill investigation 3
Assisted Seal/Whale 3

Rockport Harbor Harbormasters
Rosemary Lesch and Scott Story
Assistant Harbormaster Ron Petoff


Members: C. Nichols (Chairman), M. Clay, J. Lucas (Secretary), S. Ouellette, M. Polisson, J. Reed, M. Tupper, Alternate Members W LaMachia, D. McKie, B. Story.

July 18, 2000: The Board of Selectmen nominated seven prospective members and three prospective alternate members for the new Harbor Advisory Committee. They were as follows: C. Nichols (Chairman Pro Tem), Michael Clay, J. Lucas, S. Oullette, Michael Polisson, J. Reed, and Michael Tupper. Alternate members W. LaMachia, D. McKie and B. Story.

July 26, 2000: The Board of Selectmen appointed the nominated members to the Harbor Advisory Committee.

July 27, 2000: C. Nichols met with the Board of Selectmen, Dennis Ducsik (Tidelands Policy Coordinator State of Massachusetts) and Jack Wiggin (Urban Harbors Institute). The topic of discussion was the need for Rockport to have an approved Harbor Plan.

August 16, 2000: The new Harbor Advisory Committee elected a chairman and secretary, C. Nichols and J. Lucas. Discussion involved skiff float problems and the forming of a Harbor Planning Committee. Members were assigned the task of listing prospective issues regarding their respective harbors for the Harbor Plan.

September 27, 2000: Harbormasters presented photos of Rockport's Harbors as requested by HAC. Harbormaster's reported on the condition of Bradley Wharf. Selectman C. Clark gave a background of how the Harbor Advisory Committee was selected. He also discussed the need for the Harbor Plan. A sum of $10,000 was agreed upon to be used as a first payment to the Urban Harbors Institute. This was to become Article X for the March 24th Town Meeting.

October 11, 2000: The committee and interested attendees drafted a list of candidates for the Harbor Planning Committee and sent it to the Board of Selectmen.

November 15, 2000: The Harbormasters stated that there should be a satisfactory completion of the repairs to Bradley Wharf. The project is bonded and $80,000 in funds will be held back. The purchase of White Wharf by the town was also discussed and the list of candidates for the Harbor Planning Committee was reviewed.

December 13, 2000: Members of the new Harbor Planning Committee were present. The White Wharf meeting with the Selectman of December 18th was discussed by all present.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The Harbor Advisory Committee, with the help of the Harbor Department, the Town Administrator and Selectman Charles Clark have completed Task 1 of the Municipal Harbor Management Plan. Which is A. - Designate and create a Harbor Planning Committee, B. - Establish public participation process and C. Determine harbor planning area. This has been accomplished without the expenditure of monies to the Urban Harbors Institute.

The committee has also established regular monthly meetings.

Charles I. Nichols, Jr., Chairman


It's been another somewhat frustrating year... but the good news is that the ramp is completed!

The preliminary plans took a lot of negotiating with the Coast Guard. The contractor turned out to be another lighthouse buff and seemed especially interested in constructing an adequate ramp. To complete the installation the Town was able to have rip-rap protection placed on the northern side of the ramp. (Such protection had been part of a previous construction and had been gradually displaced over the years, undoubtedly playing a part in the loss of the last two constructions.) It should be emphasized that this part of the project will have no impact on the tax rate, thanks to the cooperation of the Association and the Fish & Wildlife Service.

Special thanks to the Granite Pier Committee and the Harbormasters for making it possible for the contractor to use Granite Pier space for his "base of operation"!

Special thanks, also, go to Bob Smith, who was the liaison with Representative Tierney's office, to John Krenn, who managed much of the negotiation with the Coast Guard and the contractor; and to Dr. Wedmore, the Carrolls and the many volunteers who did all that was possible to continue on-island care... and to the numerous committee and association members, who were supportive throughout.

We have every hope that the summer of 2001 will see activities "back on track"!

John and Mary Bennett


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