image of barnstable county courthouse

#NameOurDredge Campaign Has Ended

Thank you to everyone who participated in the #NameOurDredge Campaign!  We received 93 submissions, from which 10 finalists were chosen, and 3,818 votes were cast!

We are pleased to announce the winning name for our second dredge is Bonito, submitted by Janice O’Connell.

The results:

Bonito 1806
Sand Piper 1094
Judge Dredge 813
The Blue Fish 63
The Quahog 12
County Sand 9
Sand Dollar 6
Shifting Sands 6
Star Fish 5
Sand Shifter 4

About the New Dredge

Barnstable County’s second dredge under construction.

On September 21, 2016, the County Commissioners signed a contract with Ellicott Dredge to build a new dredge. The new dredge hull is 70’ in length with a beam of 20’. The main engine is a C-32 Caterpillar with 850 horse power driving the main dredge pump, winches and spuds. This second dredge will allow a much more responsive dredge schedule to better meet the needs of communities across Cape Cod.

“Operating in one of the world’s most sensitive ecological environments – we’re looking for a name that equally exemplifies the work Barnstable County Dredge does to maintain the health of our region and a name that is specifically related to Cape Cod. This campaign will give everyone on Cape Cod the opportunity to feel part of this important project that will have a critical and positive impact on our environment,” says Leo Cakounes, County Commissioner Chair.

Why Dredge?

Dredging is an excavation activity carried out in shallow seas and fresh water areas with the purpose of gathering up bottom sediments and widening waterways. This technique is often used to keep waterways navigable for boats, as a means of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus buildup, and as a way to replenish sand on beaches where it has been lost due to coastal erosion. Barnstable County Dredge provides for the well-being of our region and reduces maintenance costs to the 14 communities using the dredging services.


History of Barnstable County’s Dredge Program

In 1993, Barnstable County conducted a needs assessment and cost benefit analysis of operating a municipal dredge program on behalf of the towns. This report documented that a County operated maintenance-dredging program would be both beneficial to the towns and cost effective to operate.

The County and its legislative delegation approached the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and requested financial assistance in the form of a $1 million capital grant for the purchase of a dredge and ancillary equipment. Prior to this grant, the state was responsible for funding 75% of the cost of municipal dredge projects and the town was responsible for the remaining 25%. However, funding constraints at the state level meant that much of the dredge work was not completed on a timely basis or was never accomplished. As stipulated in the Grant Agreement, the provision of a capital grant replaces the state funding for municipal dredge projects here on the Cape.

The Barnstable County Dredge Advisory Committee was established in October of 1994. The Committee has representation from all of the Cape towns, except Brewster, which has no navigable harbors, DEM and County staff. The Advisory Committee is responsible for developing the dredge schedule and recommending the dredge rate each fiscal year.

Since 1996 when Barnstable County purchased an Ellicott® Series 670 cutter head DRAGON® dredge, naming it the “Cod Fish”, the County has been dredging harbors and inlets for the numerous water front communities around Cape Cod on a rotating basis. The “Cod Fish” hull length is 50’ long with a 20’ beam with 715 horse power driving the main dredge pump, winches and spuds.

The “Cod Fish” on the Centerville River.

The Barnstable County Dredge “Codfish” has provided dredging service to towns at approximately 70% below the market rate. The dredged material has been used to successfully renourish many of the Cape’s beaches, while at the same time allowing ease of navigation in several harbors and riverways.




Fact:  Over the past 21 years the County dredge Cod Fish has removed 1,890,732 cubic yards of material from 288 projects. 95% of that material went to rebuilding the beaches around Cape Cod.

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