The Barrier Beach Task Force (BBTF)
The Barrier Beach Task Force (BBTF), co-chaired by the Dukes County Manager and an FOS Director, was established in 1993. It is composed of members from the towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, County officials, Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD), Martha’s Vineyard Commission, state and federal environmental agencies, Friends of Sengekontacket and the Senior Environmental Corps. Examples of issues which come before the BBTF are dredging of inlets, erosion and beach nourishment, recreational use, protection of rare species during nesting, and handicapped access.
The BBTF has been instrumental in obtaining an environmentally sensitive design for the replacement of the Big and Little Bridges on Beach Road. The task force meets regularly and has been discussing the development of a long term management plan to preserve the Joseph Sylvia State Park Beach. The FOS implemented a major element of the plan by organizing the planting of thousands of culms of beach grass by volunteers including school children.
Today pathways to the sea are clearly delineated and the increasing height of the dunes protects the coast and seaward shore from storms. Each path is marked by “Carry In/Carry Out” signs made by children from the Oak Bluffs and Edgartown Schools. New post and rail fences were installed on both the pond and Nantucket Sound side designating access points. A major accomplishment in 2005 was the successful dredging of the Little Bridge Channel.