Rust Island visitors (Bald Eagles)

The attached picture was taken 2 weeks ago as two of our newer Cape Ann residents settled in a tree at the point of Rust Island looking down on the Annisquam on one side and Jones Creek on the other.  It was taken with my iPhone through the lens of a spotting scope at 50 magnification. 

Rick Talkov

Windy day after traps hauled–pat morss

Gloucester lobster boats came in over the weekend loaded down with their traps, to beat the March 1st temporary moratoriaum during the Right Whale migration.

NW gusts to 60 knots, creating a turquoise Gloucester Harbor
Freezing spray on the Eastern Point side
The lobster fleet is in for the Right Whale moratorium
Store them wherever you can
Just a portion of the East Gloucester sea of traps
Female House Sparrow surveys a new food source
Males have found a bounty in the trap lines
The fishing fleet isn’t affected – Capt. Joe headed out into the fog

A walk on Salisbury Reservation with seals, waves and purple sand

Salisbury Beach Geology and Barrier Island Dynamics

The following is from the publicly released document “Salisbury Beach State Reservation Barrier Beach Management Plan 2008” Masschusetts DCR.

Pre barrier island past

Salisbury Beach is a barrier beach that is separated from the mainland by a large salt marsh which contains several tidal creeks. The physical area known as Salisbury Beach was created by the reworking of sediments deposited by glaciers as they melted and receded to the north 15,000 to 18,000 years ago. As it receded, the glacier left bedrock deposits which are present in small areas at the southern part of the Reservation, near the mouth of the Merrimack River. The source of the sand at the beach was historically a paleodelta deposited offshore as the glacier receded.

Barrier Island formation

The development of barrier beach/dune systems began approximately 6,300 years Before Present (B.P.). As previously described, prior to 10,500 B.P., the region was under an ice age load which caused a general subsidence. During the waning of the glacier, first the sea level rose significantly above coastal lowlands, and then the land rebounded and became elevated higher than average sea levels. As the sea rose, it eroded glacial deposits offshore which formed the foundation of a barrier beach/dune system. This underlying foundation consists of glacio-marine clay which is located at depths of 40 feet or more.

Sand and gravel carried along the shore by waves and currents subsequently accumulated on top of the clay to form a spit. The area between the spit and the mainland was mostly open water. Over time, sea-level rose and the spit continued to enlarge and migrate westward. The protected bay behind the spit filled in with sand, became shallow and developed into a salt marsh.

Barrier Island Dynamics

Beaches are always in a state a flux. Climate, the intensity of the winds and currents, storms, available sediment supply and land-use determine the profile of the beach. The sand that accumulates on beaches comes from northern mountain boulders (often transported by rivers) which were finely ground first through years of glaciation and water by erosion as a result of storms and frost. The littoral current which runs from north to south during north/northeast winds transports sand down the coastline. This current is powerful, and the undertows and rip currents act like huge conveyer belts carrying sand southward to replenish beaches further down the coastline. If the littoral current is obstructed by structures such as jetties and groins, the beach will balloon out to the north of the obstruction “damming up” the littoral drift which would have replenished the beach to the south. Similarly, transport of sand in the onshore or offshore direction (cross-shore transport) results in an adjustment of the beach toward an equilibrium profile. The major source of cross-shore sediment transport comes from the paleodelta located offshore of the Merrimack River. High waves and water levels during storms result in accelerated and modified longshore and cross-shore sediment (sand) transport processes.

Not only do dunes protect inland areas but they supply sand to the adjacent beach system, thereby increasing its ability to dissipate storm waves. By absorbing much of the force of the waves, dunes provide protection to landward areas from storm damage and flooding.

A healthy barrier beach system contains primary dunes and secondary dunes. If the sand dunes at Salisbury Beach were free from human interference, predictable geological processes would occur. High energy storm waves attack the beach and dune face. Sand is transported in an offshore direction to build sandbars. The decreased depth of the offshore area causes waves to break further offshore and away from the dune face. Less energetic waves, consequently, directly hit the beach and dunes. Vegetation on the dunes provide stability through its root system that holds the sand in place and by trapping windborne sand particles blown from the dry portion of the beach, increasing the volume of sand in the dune.

The dynamics of Salisbury Beach’s barrier island dunes and beaches.

The sand dunes at Salisbury Beach are moving westward with a motion similar to that of a bulldozer tread: a rolling, “going over itself” motion. Some natural factors, such as rising sea level, make this process inevitable, while others, such as littoral drift and dune vegetation, make it a relatively slow process. Storms can create changes very quickly. However, human activities also accelerate this process. People, with their desire to visit or live on the beach, often destroy the very resource that attracts them and the resources that provide storm buffering and flooding protection.A jetty located north of the Reservation in Hampton, New Hampshire, currently interrupts the flow of sand onto the northern section of Salisbury Beach. The beach is steeper south of this barrier. The jetty along the northern shore of the Merrimack River, provides protection to the navigation channel into and out of the Merrimack River and obstructs the flow of sand to the south towards Plum Island.

Beaches typically migrate landward due in large part to reduced sediment supply and rising sea-levels. The rate of relative sea level rise is currently about one foot per 100 years; however, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that sea-level rise and its risk to coastal resources will accelerate over the next 100 years. Conservative projections of sea-level rise by the end of the century range from 4 to 21 inches, while projections given a higher emissions scenario range from 8 to 33 inches (CHC, 2007). Given on-going coastal issues and climate change, land mass forms in this dynamic system will constantly change over periods of time.

Stop & Shop Kicks-Off Annual Help Cure Childhood Cancer Campaign Throughout March in Massachusetts


Hi Joey –
Quickly reaching out to share that Stop & Shop, a neighborhood grocer for more than 100 years, is kicking off its annual Help Cure Childhood Cancer campaign. Running from now through March 31st, the fundraiser will support pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York. All Massachusetts stores will raise funds for Dana-Farber. 
Throughout the month-long campaign, local customers can visit their nearby Stop & Shop located at 6 Thatcher Road, Gloucester, MA and round-up their purchases to the nearest dollar, or opt to donate an additional $1, $3 or $5 at both self-checkout and mainline registers. Those shopping online at for Pickup or Home Delivery can participate in the fundraiser as well by donating $1, $3 or $5 at checkout. 100% of the change going to the participating hospitals. This year, Stop & Shop’s goal is to exceed its 2020 donation of nearly $2.5 million. 
Sharing the full press release herewith additional information. Please let me know either way if you’re interested in sharing the details of the fundraising campaign with your readers and I’d be happy to provide additional information. Thanks for your consideration.

March 1 Legislative & COVID-19 Update

News from the office of Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante

Today, Massachusetts advances to Step 2 of Phase III of the state’s reopening plan. The Commonwealth has also announced plans to transition to Step 1 of Phase IV on Monday, March 22.

Phase III, Step 2

On May 18, 2020, the Commonwealth released a four-phased plan to reopen the economy conditioned on sustained improvements in public health data. As of October, 2020, the reopening had proceeded to Step 2 of Phase III of the plan. On December 13, 2020, in response to an increase in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations following the Thanksgiving holiday, the Commonwealth returned to Step 1 of Phase III, reducing capacities across a broad range of sectors and tightening several other workplace restrictions. 

Since the beginning of this year, key public health data, such as new cases and hospitalizations, have been closely monitored and a significant decline has been documented, allowing for a return to Step 2 of Phase III, effective March 1 for all cities and towns. This includes the following updates to businesses, activities and capacities:Indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity with no more than 500 personsIndoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact (laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, obstacle courses) will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacityCapacity limits across all sectors with capacity limits will be raised to 50% and exclude employeesRestaurants will no longer have a percent capacity limit and will be permitted to host musical performances; six-foot social distancing, limits of six people per table and 90 minute limits remain in placeResidents must continue to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are encouraged to avoid contact outside of their immediate households. The Travel Advisory and other public health orders remain in effect.

Gathering Changes and Phase IV Start

Provided public health metrics continue to improve, effective on March 22, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. This will open a range of previously closed business sectors under tight capacity restrictions that are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue. Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, the following industries will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH):Indoor and outdoor stadiumsArenasBallparksAlso effective on March 22, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.

Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors must continue to remain closed. 

Please read on below for new, updated, and important legislative updates and information surrounding the COVID-19 crisis and see our past newsletters if you haven’t had a chance to read them already for more relevant guidance and directives following Governor Baker’s declaration of a state of emergency on March 10th. Visit for complete information, check the municipal websites for GloucesterRockport, and Essex for local guidance, and text “COVIDMA” to 888-777 to receive COVID-19 text message alerts straight to your phone.
CareWell Vaccination Clinic Update
We have heard from several individuals who were vaccinated at CareWell Urgent Care vaccination clinics who have expressed concerns over hearing they may not be able to get their second vaccination. My office has brought these concerns to the Baker-Polito Administration.

The Administration has stated that it will be ensuring that second doses will be delivered to vaccinate all individuals who receive their first doses at vaccination clinics across the state. The COVID-19 Command Center and the Department of Public Health are actively working with CareWell on their request for second doses and once DPH receives their survey request for doses, the doses will be allocated and delivered to CareWell for second dose appointments.

If you received your first vaccination at one of thise vaccine clinics, please remain in contact with the vaccination provider to ensure that you receive your follow-up appointment for your second vaccination.
COVID-19 Business Relief Grants
Last week, the Commonwealth announced more than $49 million in awards to 1,108 additional small businesses in the eighth round of COVID-19 Small Business and Sector-Specific Grant Programs administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). 

To date, the Commonwealth has awarded more than $563 million in direct financial support to 12,320 businesses impacted by the pandemic, including over $2.6 million to small businesses on Cape Ann, to help with expenses like payroll, benefits, utilities and rent.

Each business meets sector and demographic priorities set for the two grant programs. More than half of grantees are restaurants, bars, caterers, operators of personal services like hair and nail salons, and independent retailers. Over half of the businesses receiving relief are women-and-minority-owned enterprises. 

The awards announced last week are the result of a process by MGCC to engage directly with applicants that met sector and demographic priorities but were missing documents necessary to be considered for an award. MGCC is continuing to work with business owners in targeted sectors and demographic groups to allow for applicants to submit necessary documents.

wind-whipped sand on Good Harbor Beach

March 2, 2021 coming in chilly and v. windy

Low tide- frozen estuary slush patches by the Good Harbor Beach footbridge

whisper thin bands of dry sand wind-swept across low tide beach_ 20210302_Good Harbor Beach Gloucester MA © c ryan

It’s Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent!

The importance of cleaning your dryer vent should never be underestimated. CleanPro is offering a Month of March Sale of 15% off Dryer Vent Cleaning. Call 978-281-3939 to learn more or schedule your appointment.

Learn all about the other services that CleanPro offers by visiting their website HERE

A Visit to the Collecting Dust Shop

I stopped by Collecting Dust on Maplewood Ave a couple of days ago to browse. I’d been want to get in there for a look-around for a little while and this was the perfect opportunity. They are open at 2 PM daily, according to Audie (that’s day’s clerk). It’s a small shop crammed with gadgets, bee-bobs, collectibles and antiques of all sorts. Audie tells me inventory turns over quickly so it pays to stop by often. I took home a cute little ceramic Spring/Easter decoration. There is a great deal to look at, so budget some time. Prices are reasonable and the inventory will appeal to many interests. Check them out on Facebook. I’ll be taking GMG Jimmy back because he’s going to love it!

Frame Up to Fit Out – Sylvina W. Beal Restoration

Cape Ann Community

Talk 1 of 4 on March 11th.

Join Katherine Dench, Mass Cultural Council’s granted apprentice to master shipwright Harold Burnham, as she chronicles her experience in taking part in the restoration process of the historic Sylvina W. Beal and wooden boat building – from sketch to launch.

ZOOM Links will be sent 1hr prior to virtually scheduled talks on the dates listed below:

7pm-8p | Thursday, March 11th | Thursday, April 8th | Thursday, May 13th | Thursday, June 10th

Sylvina W. Beal @paultrefry

Tickets can be purchased here: They are free for members and $10 for all others.

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Sawyer Free Library will be closed on Tuesday, March 2 for the day

Cape Ann Community

The Sawyer Free Library will be closed on Tuesday, March 2nd for a professional development day.

Both in-person and curbside services will be unavailable until the following day, Wednesday, March 3rd at 10am.

We are excited to use the knowledge and skills we develop to further improve our services at the Library!

If you expect to need computer services on this day, consider borrowing one of our Chromebooks and wireless hotspots or reach out to us for information about other services in the community.

Don’t forget that our databases, eBooks, and other online resources can be accessed 24/7 at

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