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Updated: May 19th

I want to thank those who were able to attend the last minute SOS meeting held at Wormwood's this morning. We had a good turnout of about 20 people, considering the last minute notice. A campaign was discussed to inform the greater Saco community of the need to protect Saco Bay's beaches, including Camp Ellis, Ferry Beach, Bay View and Kinney Shores.

The project is moving, but the ACoE needs to hear that you are in favor of the project. Please take a few minutes to hand write a letter showing your support of the project and get it mailed to them BY FRIDAY, May 24th. They MUST be received by Monday, May 27th.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
New England District
Engineering and Planning Division
Attn: Richard Heidelbrecht
696 Virginia Road
Concord, MA 01742-2751

Follow that letter up with an email to cenea-ep@usace.army.mil. This is a huge push to keep the projecct on track. Please help in whatever way you can and spread the word to friends, family and others!

I've also registered a new webiste name, www.savesacobay.com. This name is more closely aligned with the mission of Save Our Shores, and will better represent all of the areas affected by the project.

We are currently planning another meeting for June, with details to be announced as soon as possible.

May 14th, 2013

There is an extremely important meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 16th at 4:30PM at City Hall. The Army Corps of Engineers will be presenting an overview of the project to interested parties. I am relatively certain there will be Saco residents that oppose this project in attendance. SOS members and any others interested in saving the Camp Ellis beach shoreline should attend. If there is a strong show of support, we can continue moving the project forward. If there is strong opposition with no one to speak for homeowners, or discussion of changing the project, it will most likely get delayed. This has gone on for over 25 years, and if the project gets delayed for any reason, there is a good chance nothing will be done. A lot of people have spent time, energy and money to get to this point. Don't let the project be changed or delayed. Be at City Hall on Thursday and show your support for SOS and the ACoE project!

Contact the people listed below to get your voice heard!

City Administrator:  Rick Michaud – 207-282-4191 rmichaud@sacomaine.org
City Mayor:  Mark Johnson  284-6710 (H)  mayor@sacomaine.org
Ward 4 Councilman:  (Our Ward)  Phil Blood – 284-9346(H)  pblood@myfairpoint.net

All other councilmen: 

Ward 1:   David Tripp  283-3497 (H)  councilward1@sacomaine.org
Ward 2:  Leslie Smith, Jr.  282-5385 (H)  councilward2@sacomaine.org
Ward 3:  Marie Doucette   284-7032 (H)  councilward3@sacomaine.org
Ward 5:  Arthur Tardif  283-3126 (H)  councilward5@sacomaine.org
Ward 6:  Eric B. Cote   284-7059 (H)  councilward6@sacomaine.org
Ward 7:  Marston Lovell   282-2722 (H) councilward7@sacomaine.org

May 5th, 2013

There are two events this week that you should be aware of.

The first is a Traffic Safety Commission meeting on Thursday, May 9th at 6:30PM at City Hall. A letter has been written by Paul Trahan, owner of Christina's B&B on Main Ave. to the Commission. He is suggesting that traffic patterns within Camp Ellis proper be changed to ensure the safety of vehicles, pedestrians and pets. He has put forth that Riverside Ave should be made a two way street, a 4 way stop be placed at the corner of Cove Ave and Main Ave, and an elevated walkway (speed bump) be placed on Main Ave. While I don't disagree entirely with Mr. Trahan that changes might be made to make Main Ave, and especially "the bend" a safer roadway, I don't agree with his resolution. I have put forth my own thoughts in a letter to Deputy Chief Demers.

As we are not considered "residents" of Saco, we are not made aware of these meetings, regardless of their impact on us as year-round tax paying homeowners. Oddly enough, notice of our taxes being due make it to us with fail. I came across this meeting notice by chance on Sunday, and after reading the notice from the Deputy Chief, felt that the changes Mr. Trahan is suggesting are more extensive than needed to mitigate any "speeding" or reckless driving issues in Camp Ellis.

My solution, although probably not popular with some, is to place a 3 way stop at the corners of Cove and Main, and to make Main Ave. a one-way street inbound toward the bend. This would resolve the many near-misses that happen when two cars approach the bend from opposite directions. The stop sign on Main Ave coming in would slow traffic as well. In doing this, I also suggested reversing the one-way traffic on Riverside, making it the primary egress from Camp Ellis proper. Again, I know this will be an unpopular solution for the homeowners on Riverside, as they will see more traffic during the summer months. To me, however, this solution works better overall than the one put forth by Mr. Trahan, and if an alternative solution is not found, Mr. Trahan may see his changes implemented.

I want to make you aware of this meeting to request your attendance if possible. I am unable to attend due to work commitments. If you feel either of these solutions are viable, have other ideas, or feel this is an unnecessary change, then please attend or at least write to Deputy Chief Demers (rdemers@sacomaine.org) and make him aware of your thoughts on this.

The second item is a Shoreline Commission Meeting, unfortunately on the same night, at 7:00pm at the Ferry Beach conference center. I do not have any particulars on what will be discussed, but with things moving in a good direction, I would hope some residents can make the meeting and fill us all in on the discussions.

*******

Annual Memorial Day Golf Tournament, Cookout and SOS Fundraiser
May 25th at the Salty Dog House, 19-21 Beacon Ave., Saco (Ferry Beach)

Golf Tee Times start at 9:45 AM at Saco Biddeford Country Club. Two person scramble format. Entrance fee $10.00/Team. Be sure to arrive early enough to check in and pay.

Also when you RSVP for the golf let Joe know if you are an A Player( 85 or less) B Player (86-95) C Player (96-105) or a D Player (105 or greater). Call Joe Roberto to set up Groups --603-443-2019 or send him an e-mail- armando.j.roberto@valley.net

Cook Out at 4 PM at the Salty Dog House
Bring your favorite Appetizer, BYOB and Chairs.

As in the past we hope to raise a few $$ for SOS, so bring your cash or checkbook!!

Please e-mail me if you know of anyone not on the list so we can add them.
RSVP back to me for the cookout by May 20th
Come join us and get the summer started and enjoy great company and food!!!
Stephen69@aol.com
Home Phone # 617-387-7640
Work Cell # 617-212-8778

******

April 3rd, 2013

I just received notice that FEMA is increasing the Flood Insurance rates for homeowners in the flood plane. As "non-resident" Camp Ellis homeowners, we will see our rate increase by 25% per year until the cost is equal to the "true cost of risk". Needless to say, this "true cost" was not mentioned anywhere in the literature. Those who own primary homes are not in the clear, however. Your rate will remain "subsidized" until such time as you sell or otherwise transfer your home, allow the contract to lapse and restore it or add on to your policy.

If you would like a copy of the literature I have received, please contact me at Tim@campellisbeach.com and I will forward it.

Tim

March 11, 2013

We made it through another major Nor 'Easter this past weekend. A lot of flooding, more serious beach erosion, and continued inaction on the part of the ACoE. The City did a good job of cleanup after the storm, but work done prior to the storm season may have helped avoid much of the flooding. The seawalls along the shore need to be raised and the bend at North and Main needs to be cleared and opened after any severe damage from tides. The act of leaving the sand in place on the road may do a little to protect the roadway, but it places the homes on the corner in jeopardy of being flooded, and block access for large emergency vehicles and egress for residents.

We are working on scheduling an SOS meeting for Memorial Day weekend. Not sure yet if it will be Saturday or Sunday morning. I will update the Facebook page as we finalize plans I've placed an icon at the top of this page that links directly to the "NEW" SOS Camp Ellis / Ferry Beach page on Facebook to make us easier to locate. The existing Camp Ellis Beach Facebook will remain active as well. The new page will be dedicated to SOS happenings, while the more general Camp Ellis Beach page will be a place to share your photos and comments about Camp Ellis and Ferry Beach as your home or vacation destination!

Tim

February 7th, 2013

We are readying today and tomorrow for a Nor 'Easter they've named NEMO. A silly name for what by all accounts looks to be a very serious storm. Keep abreast of the storm and it's effects in Camp Ellis at the SOS Camp Ellis Facebook Page. Login to Facebook and search for "SOS Camp Ellis" to find it!

October 12, 2012

We made it through Hurricane Sandy with minimal damage, but that was a fluke. The wind and waves that I saw were too near what we experienced in 2007's Patriot's Day storm for comfort. We are now in line for a Nor 'Easter coming our way mid-week. With the setup of wave and wind damage that was caused by Sandy, I am concerned that some of our protections have been sacrificed.

I'll be in Camp Ellis Wednesday evening, and will be updating the SOS Facebook page, rather that this one, as it's easier and faster to update, and we have more visitors there. Please see the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/camp.ellis for timely updates!

August 27th, 2011

We are waiting on Hurricane Irene to make an appearance tomorrow afternoon and overnight. Sorry for the lax updating here. Please see our Facebook page. Not sure how to get you there, so do a search for Camp Ellis Beach in Facebook! There are a few of them, but we are the IMPORTANT ONE, so be sure to Friend us!!

December 27th, 2010

Well, here we are in the midst of our first real storm of the season! It's about 1PM as I am writing this. Looks like the tide is kicked up pretty good. We've had some seawall damage at our place, but hope to get it repaired before any real damage can occur. The webcam is pretty well snowed in from the northeast winds. May be a bit before the window clears up, so I'll post images from my private camera on Facebook as time allows.

Speaking of Facebook, I've created a new Camp Ellis Beach page. Please "Like" the page and tell your friends about it. I'll be posting there at least as often as here, probably more so as it's an easier and fast method of getting new information out!

Link to our Facebook page's wall here.

Hope you all had Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a Happy New Year.
Tim

October 20th, 2010

The Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE) has posted the most recent status update for the State of Maine, including the Cam Ellis project. the document can be viewed here.

October 12th, 2010

There are upcoming meetings in the next couple weeks that you should be aware of. The first is the Shoreline Committee meeting, Thursday night at 7PM at Wormwood's restaurant. the agenda is as follows:

Review PPA recent letter
Status of beach
Upcoming winter storm season

The second is Monday, October 25th at 4:30PM City Hall. This is a meeting of the Saco Bay Implementation Team, along with the Army Corps of Engineers and representatives of the Maine state government. The Corps will be meeting with City officials earlier in the day.

If you can only attend one meeting, I would encourage you to attend the October 25th meeting

Documents that will be reviewed during this meeting are attached here.

Glidden_Camp Ellis-Coordination Letter

Project Partnership Agreement Army Corps and City of Saco

I have received the following from Rick Michaud of the City of Saco and Richard Heibelbrecht of the Army Corps.

From Dick Heidelbrecht:

As discussed this morning, we sent out an updated coordination letter to Federal and State agencies that requests any comments that they may have at this time.  These letters are all similar except for the last paragraph which requests comments relating to laws or activities that the specific agency regulates.  Attached is a copy of the letter that was sent to Mr. Tim Glidden, the Acting Director of the Maine State Planning Office.

From Rick Michaud:

I encourage you to look at the attached letter for a current description of the project status.  Dick also said in our conversation earlier today that he is working on a review plan.  The legal department is looking at the Project Partnership Agreement.  The re-nourishment of the beach may be viewed as deferred construction.  The future issue will be when accumulated costs reach the $26.9 million cap on this project, at that time Congress will need to grant additional authorization.

Please attend these meetings if you can. I can't express enough how important your support is to both our community and the project!

Tim

****************************************************

September 7th, 2010

Well, we certainly got lucky with Hurricane Earl! Aside from a bit of wind and some very pretty surf, we really dodged the bullet. Let's hope the rest of the season is as weak as Earl turned out to be!

SOS MEMBERSHIP

Please consider joining SOS if you haven't already! The cost is very small; only $25/year. This goes toward helping to offset the cost of the camera feed and this web site. We haven't actively collected dues for a couple years. Once again, our funds are dwindling and I'd like to see the web site and features like the live video continue. I'd also like to add a second camera to the site in the near future, but we can't do that with out funds. If you'd like to join, renew or just donate, please contact me at tim@campelllisbeach.com.

Thanks and have a safe Fall season!

Hurricane Earl August 31st, 2010

As I am sure you are all aware by now, Earl is making a much closer pass to New England that Danielle did last week. Forecasters aren't going out on a limb yet, but I've been watching the path since Sunday when Earl formed. The storm track has been moving westward toward a US landfall all week. It appears the storm has slowed somewhat in it's trek northwestward, as we aren't expecting effects now until late Friday and into Saturday. TS Fiona is on Earl's heels, and I am more than a little curious as to what effect that will have on Earl's track.

For the latest information on Hurricane Earl, I've found the following sites especially detailed:

www.noaa.gov (great information)
www.weatherunderground.com (a favorite)
www.stormpulse.com (excellent maps)

I know you all like having the camera available for live video, but please don't leave the camera running in your browser for extended periods. We have hundreds (yes, I said HUNDREDS) of visitors every week now, and the camera gets very slow when too many are logged in at once. If you will be away from your PC for a bit, please close the browser down. You can always come back to see the beautiful Maine coast anytime!

Saco backs Camp Ellis project partnership (August 3, 2010)

 The Saco City Council Monday night unanimously endorsed a project partnership agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address erosion issues in Camp Ellis.

Coastal storms have caused erosion and the loss of more than 30 houses along Camp Ellis. The New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted studies to remedy ongoing erosion and developed a plan consisting of a 750-foot spur jetty and periodic beach fill.

The design and construction of the project exceeds the $5 million statutory cap allowed under Section 111 of the River and Harbor Act of 1976, though Congress in 2007 gave authority to exceed the limit in the Water Resources Development Act.

The Secretary of the Army is authorized to spent up to $26.9 million for the design and construction of the project as an aid to navigation while simultaneously mitigating shoreline damage and erosion.

Such an undertaking is dependent on the city acting as a partner following construction, according to information prepared for the council by City Administrator Rick Michaud.

“The city of Saco…desires to foster a partnering strategy and a working relationship with the ACOE and the city of Saco through a mutually developed formal strategy of commitment and communication, which creates an environment where trust and teamwork prevents disputes, fosters a cooperative bond between the ACOE and the city of Saco, and facilitates the successful implementation of the project,” Michaud wrote.

The agreement also will clarify the role and responsibility of each party from design through construction and for 50 years following the completion of the project.

Mayor Ron Michaud said the plan will be given to Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree to submit to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A copy of the Partnership Agreement can be found here

******

Write your Senators, State Reps, Mayor, Counselor and President
Now is the time to write ask for representation from your local, state and federal government officials.  I'd ask that you take the time to write (not email) each of your representatives and ask that they step up and help us save Camp Ellis.

The text of a letter is available here.  Please feel free to download it and adapt it to your style.  Again, a handwritten or typed and mailed letter gets FAR MORE ATTENTION than email.  I'd like to thank Patty Van Ness for copying me with her original letter and allowing me to revise and post it here.

Tim

*****

This update regarding Camp Ellis erosion due to the storms in March is from Mike Bolduc of the Saco DPW:

Camp Ellis Coastal Erosion Maintenance

The Camp Ellis area of Saco experiences significant erosion of dunes and roadways, as well as the settling of armor stone along a stretch of 2000 feet of coastline.  Approximately 10 to 15 times per year Saco Public Works will perform some level of sand dune and roadway replacement.  Conditions needed for this erosion to occur require an east to northeast wind, 5 to 8 foot seas, and a high tide greater than 9 feet.  So far this storm season Public Works has placed over 1800 cy of sand and 500 cy of gravel along Surf St between Sunrise Ave and Eagle Ave to cover the “Geotubes” and provide gravel road property access.  The Main Ave and North Ave intersection has needed to have sand and debris removed with a loader on several occasions.  Lower Beach Ave at Surf St has been rebuilt with gravel for access to private property following storm events.  The armor stone between the jetty and Fairhaven Ave is restacked annually.  Public Works has dedicated over 750 man hours to erosion control and repairs during the past twelve months in Camp Ellis.

*****

Response from Senator Collins regarding status of Jetty Project
Kellie Perrault Mueller wrote Senator Collins in the fall asking for an update on the status of the appropriations of funds for the Camp Ellis Restoration Project.  A copy of Senator Collin's reply is available here.

*****

The Photo Gallery is up and running!
If you have any photos you'd like to share with others, please email them to me and I'll be sure to add them to the site as soon as possible, with the photog's name, of course.  Include any information you'd like to have as the caption!

*****

The Guestbook is online!
You may now sign in and leave comments in the Guestbook.  These are public comments and can be seen by others, so play nice!

*****

Camp Ellis Beach on Facebook!
I've created a Camp Ellis Beach site on Facebook.  Request as a friend and I'll reply as soon as possible!

*****

The web cam is up and running!
I've changed the Live Video link to open the video feed directly into a portion of the web page, instead of within it's own application.  This should make it easier to view.  You may still be asked for a username and password.  Just type "maine" into the username and leave the password field blank.

Click the Live Video menu item to the left and the video should come up!

*****

Army Corps Update

This is the latest information (September 2009) from the ACoE web site:

SACO RIVER AND CAMP ELLIS BEACH, SACO (1st CD)

– The New England District, in response to a request from the city of Saco and state of Maine, is undertaking a study under the authority of Section 111 of the River and Harbor Act of 1968 to find a remedy to the ongoing erosion of Camp Ellis Beach. The Corps meets periodically with state and city officials and local interests to discuss ongoing computer modeling efforts being conducted by the Woods Hole Group (WHG) under contract to the Corps. The models are examining effects of coastal structures on wave climate, currents and erosion. Initial modeling and evaluation of alternatives determined that a spur jetty, an offshore breakwater, a combination of the spur jetty and breakwater, or T-head groins offered the best protection.

However, with identification of soft clay under a large portion of the study area, the offshore breakwater was not feasible and additional breakwater alignments situated closer to shore were evaluated. Additional subsurface investigations were completed in 2005, and the results were used to develop and model additional alternatives. The results of these efforts were provided to the sponsor, state and public in January 2006. These efforts indicated that a plan involving a 750- foot long spur jetty and periodic beachfill was the optimal Federal plan. Local interests prefer a plan for a 500-foot spur jetty and two or more nearshore breakwaters that require less frequent periodic beachfill. Modeling of this locally preferred plan has been completed and has been reviewed by the city and the state. As this project will exceed the $5 million statutory cap under Section 111 authority, Congress provided specific authority in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 to exceed this limitation.

This Act authorized a maximum Federal expenditure of $26,900,000 for work under Section 111 at Camp Ellis. Ongoing FY09 and FY10 activities will include completion of design efforts, and preparation of a decision document and environmental assessment (EA). The decision document will require review and approval by the Corps’ North Atlantic Division before release for public review. The Corps and City anticipate beginning the Federal and state regulatory approval process for the project during the fall of 2009. Once environmental approvals are secured for the final proposal, and Congressional funding for the project is received, then preparation of plans and specifications would be completed. A construction contract would then be sought in the subsequent two to three fiscal years. The last effort under this project will include beach nourishment of Camp Ellis Beach.

 

Updated on May 19, 2013