Access to Madaket Beach closed due to erosion

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(June 16, 2022) City officials closed public access to Madaket Beach due to erosion over the winter that resulted in a 15-foot drop to the sand from the parking lot at the end of Madaket Road.

Harbor master Sheila Lucey said a fence had been erected along the parking lot. The ramp that once led to the beach was chained to a large log at the edge of the cliff to prevent bathers from trying to lower it to the beach, something someone did over Memorial weekend Day, Lucey said.

“It is extremely dangerous. It’s too stiff. Hopefully, maybe by the end of the summer, we can do something there, but not now,” she said.

There will be no lifeguard station at Madaket Beach until the access issue is resolved, Lucey said.

There is little or no public access to Madaket Beach, as Smith’s Point is closed due to bird nesting, Lucey said.

“We need to make sure it is safe to get on and off before we can reopen access. For now, there is no way to make it secure. It’s way too steep of a drop. More permanent solutions like stairs take time.

A lifeguard stand will be set up at Ladies Beach and lifeguards on all-terrain vehicles will patrol the entire southern shore, including the western end of the island, she said.

Training for chief lifeguards begins this week, with the rest of the rangers arriving on Monday, Lucey said. She hopes the city’s beaches will be staffed by Wednesday, June 29, although ATV patrols will be on the beaches this weekend and next.

In other waterfront news, Lucey reminded boaters that subletting moorings is illegal and that if a mooring holder has overnight guests on board, the boat owner or a licensed captain must also be present.

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