Urges Army Corps to work at “breakneck speed” to save Town Neck Beach 


Ed Markey and other officials in Sandwich, MA, discussing beach restorationEd Markey and other officials in Sandwich, MA, discussing beach restoration

Senator Markey visiting Sandwich, MA today

Boston (June 7, 2024) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, visited Sandwich today to view the impacts of a coastal restoration project that he has supported through legislative efforts for more than a decade. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Markey, joined by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09), the Army Corps is now able to take action and address decades of dangerous erosion caused by the federal Cape Cod Canal jetties.

“The erosion of Sandwich’s coastline presents a serious threat to the town and nearby ecosystems,” said Senator Markey.Because this erosion is accelerated by federally owned infrastructure, I have been working for over a decade to ensure that the Corps fixes this problem and foots the entire bill. In the latest Water Resources bill, I’ve continued this work by raising the statutory spending cap on projects like this one. Together we must act fast to turn the tide and restore this critical stretch of the coast.” 

“Ensuring that the Army Corps lives up to its responsibilities to protect Town Neck Beach has been a long-standing issue for my office. I have personally met with Assistant Secretary Connor of the US Army Corps numerous times to ensure that authorization and funding to replenish Town Neck Beach, and I will continue to work alongside Senator Markey and our colleagues in the federal delegation to advocate for the Town while the area remains threatened by erosion,” said Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09).

In 2016, Senator Markey successfully fought to authorize an Army Corps feasibility study of coastal erosion along Sandwich’s coastline. In 2021, the Army Corps completed the Cape Cod Canal and Sandwich Beaches Section 111 Shore Damage Mitigation Study, which concluded “that the jetties at the east end of the Canal unquestionably and significantly increase erosion of the Sandwich shoreline along Town Neck Beach and Springhill Beach.” Further, the study determined “erosion of the Sandwich shoreline and its threat to both the shorefront and interior coastal community has reached what effectively amounts to ‘critical mass.’” 

“Sandwich has worked with Senator Markey to address the impact of the Cape Cod Canal jetties on Sandwich’s north facing shore since he began his service in 2013. Senator Markey and Representative Keating have both taken a personal interest in helping Sandwich with a federal solution working with our U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partners, and we truly appreciate their leadership leading to one of the largest beach nourishment projects in New England. We are confident that Senator Markey and our federal delegation will continue to support maintenance nourishment projects needed to protect the Town of Sandwich,” said Shane Hoctor, Chair of the Sandwich Select Board.

“We’re excited to be at the point of soliciting this one-time renourishment project for Sandwich.  I want to thank Sen. Markey and our state and local partners who have worked for many years to make this a reality. We look forward to receiving good bids from industry and placing sand on the beach later this year,” said District Engineer Col. Justin Pabis, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District.

After advocating for the original study, Senator Markey urged the Corps to expedite the release of the study in 2021, including by leading a delegation letter with Senator Warren and Congressman Keating to the Army Corps. He kept the pressure on in 2022, when he secured report language in the Water Resources Development Act which ensured the project would be fully federally funded given federal infrastructure caused the erosion. In May 2024, Senator Markey secured language in the Senate 2024 Water Resource Development Act, which increased the cap for Section 111 projects from $12.5 million to $15 million. The legislation is expected to become law later this year.