I'm so bored I could croak....stacked wood for HOURS Tuesday, cleaned the house, made a kick-ass batch of barbecue sauce and snuck an interview for a story in. My justification: it's important. I don't care that I'm on vacation. News doesn't stop.
This story is about the dike, or causeway, on Rt. 1 in downtown Machias. The dike travels from White's Point to Potato Point and is very wide. There is the salt water of Machias Bay on the south side and fresh water of the Middle River on the north.
It has become a carnival of vendors on weekends - sea glass, fresh fish and clams, handmade bird baths, the farmers' market, antiques and junk....Many people sit in their cars and watch the tides change, enjoy the sunrise or sunset and their brilliance, or just visit with each other.
It is a place of commerce and socialization.
But the dike is much more than that - underneath, in concrete bunkers, are tidal gates, or flappers. They swing open when the tide is low and let the river empty into the bay. But then they swing closed at high tide to keep the salt water from entering the river basin.
The problem is that the dike is due to be replaced and one of the options under serious consideration is removal of the flappers. Residents that live along the river say the sea water will flood their land - some property owners' acreage will completely disappear - and it will also destroy a wild habitat for deer, moose, birds.
Those who favor removing the flappers want to see the basin return to the state it was in more than 150 years ago - a tidal basin that shifts with the tides and provides a place for sea run fish, such as Atlantic salmon, to spawn.
It's an interesting story but while investigating it, I also learned about Machias history and some very captivating stories about pirates and treasure....what a fascinating place I've moved to.