East Beach ~ Barrier Beach

History of the Breachway

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1600 - 1700's
The breachway closed in the spring. The farmers and fisherman would dig a breach by hand, using horse-drawn scoops and shovels to make a passage for anadromous fish, or fish born in freshwater which eventually swim to the ocean.

Natural breachway was evident. By 1752 sediment had filled in and boats could not travel through the breachway.

1904 -1910
A fifty foot wide breachway was dredged and reinforced with a 200 foot fieldstone jetty to prevent shoals (sand banks) and the closing of the breachway.

Storm damaged the breachway wall which caused the canal to be closed. Following this, the breach opened and closed naturally.

Hurricane swept over the barrier, cutting seven surge channels through East Beach, washing dunes into the pond all the way back to Rt.1 in Charlestown.

The state of R.I. paid $64,790 dollars to have the breachway dredged to a depth of 3 feet and a width of 120 feet to build stone jetties that extend into the sound from the breachway.

Hurricane Carol washed houses, barns, and boats into the water and increased transport of sediment through the breachway.

Channel to Green Hill Pond was dredged to connect it directly to Charlestown breachway.

Blizzard in February was an intense winter storm causing a great amount of sand erosion on the beach.

Relatively fair weather period. Since 1978, dune growth has advanced resulting in an increase of buildable ocean front real estate.



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