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Coastal Engineering Company of Orleans Cape Cod
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A.R.C. Hatchery

Guiding a Shellfish Nursery Renovation Through a Rigorous Review and Appeal Process

Coastal Engineering Co. (CEC) provided professional engineering and environmental permitting services for the reconstruction of an early 1900s commercial fish house located in Herring River, Harwich, MA. Originally intended to demolished and rebuilt, the existing structure was instead elevated and supported by a new pile foundation. CEC assisted the project legal team and helped guide the project through a rigorous review and appeal process on both local and state levels. Ultimately, the fish house was successfully repaired to be safe and look in character with the surrounding neighborhood. It is now leased out to A.R.C. Hatchery, a leading local aquaculture company supplying the majority of Cape Cod shell fishermen with high-quality seed.

Nutrient-rich Herring River is an ideal location for an aquaculture nursery. Upweller pumps draw water from the river and circulate it through the tanks filled with oyster and clam seeds. The seeds feed on the nutrients and grow until they reach a certain size and get sold for further propagation in beds. In process, the shellfish seeds help clean the water, so this facility benefits both commercial aquaculture industry and the environment.


  • Site design
  • Structural design of proposed new fish house
  • Environmental permitting