Labor Day: Beaches ready to roll after Hurricane Irene?

Saint's Landing Beach, Brewster, MA - © M.A. Machis

With the Labor Day weekend upon us, The Washington Post reports that nearly 95 percent of lodgings and beaches on Cape Cod are open. Rhode Island’s beaches are open again as well, and even down south a bit in North Carolina people are returning to the shore, though amidst some debris. It’s good to see that Hurricane Irene hasn’t put a damper on the Labor Day tradition of beach-going, barbecuing, and celebrating the last bash of summer with family.

While the arrival of Hurricane Irene last week may have thrown a temporary wrench into your Labor Day plans, we at Woods Hole Group will be thankful over our barbecue this weekend that there wasn’t more damage from the hurricane turned tropical storm.

New England beaches as well as communities across the East Coast were deeply affected by the storm, with some faring better than others. We’re happy that despite erosion and damage to be expected by a storm of Irene’s caliber, our efforts and projects to combat coastal erosion did their job.

At New Seabury beach, the bioengineered seawall held. And though we documented the effects from the storm at Menauhant Beach in Falmouth earlier this week, the efforts and work to restore the beach fared well.

If beach-going is on your agenda this holiday weekend, in addition to snapping some photos for the wrap-up of our Favorite New England Beaches photo contest, perhaps a pause for reflection on the fragility of our region’s beaches and the power of nature is in order.

Especially as Hurricane Katia is swirling around out there in the Atlantic.

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