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Coastal Engineering Company of Orleans Cape Cod
July 26, 2019

Coastal Engineering to the Rescue: Tide to Table Farming the Oyster Flats of Cape Cod Bay

In the cover story of Cape & Plymouth Business July 2019 issue, Coastal Engineering Project Manager Don Munroe shares his expertise on environmental permitting requirements for shellfish farming on Cape Cod.

Oysters July 2019

As if raising and distributing shellfish weren’t complicated enough, add the complex task of obtaining local, state, and federal permits. That’s where Coastal Engineering Co. comes in. Headquartered in Orleans, Coastal Engineering was responsible for permitting of A.R.C.’s new shellfish nursery on the Herring River in Harwich. That took more than three years but, according to Don Munroe, manager of the firm’s marine department,

“Going through the rigorous permitting process was worth it because A.R.C. is now getting some of the highest productivity in that hatchery.” A short documentary about the project can be viewed at

Munroe is currently assisting the town of Wellfleet to expand their shellfish propagation area. The plan is to deposit old shells on the seabed to establish a surface for oyster spat, so wild oysters can grow. It’s called culching. Because culch is considered fill, permits are required. To obtain them, Coastal Engineering is working with the state’s Department of Waterways, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “This project is a positive for both the public, because it supports recreational shellfishing, and the environment, because the shellfish help improve water quality.” Read the full story in Cape & Plymouth Business July 2019 issue.