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Parks and Rec department creates plans to counteract increased erosion of Westport beaches, Burying Hill

Burying+Hill+Beach+faces+the+highest+levels+of+erosion+out+of+all+of+the+beaches+in+Westport.
Jack Robinson ’26
Burying Hill Beach faces the highest levels of erosion out of all of the beaches in Westport.

After recent years of steady erosion of local beaches, the Parks and Recreation department is putting into motion a nourishment plan in order to build beaches back up to their former glory.

A nourishment plan is an arduous process of bringing additional sand, either from the sea or from inland sources, to Westport’s beaches. Doing so will counteract erosion and ideally help give more space to wildlife and beach goers.

“As [the beaches] have eroded [overtime], they started eroding faster,” Parks Superintendent Michael West said. “It’s really trying to figure out what [we have], and what we can build to be mindful of a lot of the natural resources we have out there in the water.”

The Parks and Rec department will work with both the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Army Corps, who originally constructed the beaches back in the 1950’s, to achieve the proper permits in order to enact a nourishment plan.

So much of Westport has changed in just the past couple years, and I feel like one of the things that has definitely stayed consistent is our beaches.[They are] such a big part of our town and our community, and hearing the fact that they are being harmed by environmental issues really sucks.

— Fin Maddaloni ’26

“Just making sure you can communicate to them, and show them what you’re trying to achieve, and also show that you’re being very mindful of wildlife [and building something] that’s going to be resilient to storms,” West said.

An increase in major storms, as a result of climate change, have also been at fault for increased erosion, and as the globe gets warmer, the beaches will continue to erode.

“[The two main reasons are] rising sea levels, and the other has to do with increased erosion with the larger and fiercer storms that come through our way,” science teacher and Coastal Cleanup Crew advisor Bethann Camillo said.

The main victim of beach erosion is the Piping Plover, a shorebird already being threatened by  climate change.

“They build their nest directly on the sand […] so they are losing their nesting habitat, so sea level rise is having an impact […] on potential nesting sites for some of these shorebirds,” Camillo said.

Some students worry that a core part of Westport’s community will be lost as the beaches erode more and more, if such erosion is not curbed by the nourishment plan.

“So much of Westport has changed in just the past couple years, and I feel like one of the things that has definitely stayed consistent is our beaches,” Fin Maddaloni ’26 said. “[They are] such a big part of our town and our community, and hearing the fact that they are being harmed by environmental issues really sucks.”

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About the Contributor
Jack Robinson ’26, Web Opinions Editor
Web Opinions Editor Jack Robinson ’26 has always loved cats. He currently has two cats, but that is not enough for him. A self-designated crazy cat person, cats have been with him his entire life.   “I got my first cat at zero,” Robinson said. “They were just there.” Outside of spending time with his orange and gray cats, Robinson writes and edits pieces for Inklings. As a lover of writing, especially journalism, he was excited to join Inklings, and see where it could lead him. “[Journalism],” he said, “is something I might want to pursue in my adult life.”

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