Cohasset harbor flushing OK’d

By Johanna Seltz
Globe Correspondent / July 31, 2011

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COHASSET - After months of acrimonious hearings, the Conservation Commission voted unanimously last week to accept the selectmen’s plan to open the tidal gates at Cat Dam an extra day a month in the summer - and about 40 days more in the winter - to allow more flushing of Inner Little Harbor.

The approved schedule was put forward by Environmental 20, a group of neighbors who worried that more aggressive flushing would create smelly mud flats in front of their houses and cause erosion.

The 4-0 vote came after a quiet 45-minute meeting, a stark contrast to past meetings in which different views clashed on how often the gates should open.

Selectmen dove into the dispute earlier this month when they replaced three members of the Conservation Commission, whose terms had expired but who wanted to be reappointed.

David Farrag, chairman of the Conservation Commission, said it would take about a year of testing to see how well the new tidal gate schedule works.

Those who wanted more dramatic tidal flushing can appeal the decision to the Commonwealth, he said.