Tag Archives: Good Harbor Beach


A preview of sea-level rise


At high tide today (noon) there was no trace of the creek bed. The sea had risen to the level of the road. Surfers caught waves that took them right up to the base of the footbridge. You needed high boots to enter the beach via the bridge and one funny dog wouldn’t play fetch with his friend because he had to wade through several feet of water to exit the footbridge. The parking lot was almost entirely flooded, at least a foot deep in some locations


Seaside Goldenrod is a plant worth noting in this situation. Not only is it a fantastic nectar-rich plant for Monarchs, bees, and many other species of pollinators but is also a reliable soldier in battling beach erosion. Notice in the Instagram the incoming tide swirling about the base of the plant. Seaside Goldenrod can grow in tidal zones where it is flooded twice daily. Year after year it reliably returns.

From The Washington Post, “Every year from November through February, the highest tides — called “king tides” — press onto the shores during full moons. This is a result of the enhanced gravitational pull from the full moon as well as Earth’s being closest to the sun in its orbit (at perihelion). The tides get even higher during supermoons, because that’s when the moon is closest to Earth (at perigee).”

Good Harbor Beach disappearing tidal river #gloucesterma #hightide #KingTide

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

70 – 74 Thatcher Road: Brier Neck Shores construction across from Good Harbor Beach parking lot

Intersection of Thatcher and Witham Streets, behind Good Harbor Beach, next door to the construction site of the former Olivia’s/Amelia’s property.







The property is legally described as Assessors Map 184, Lots #5 and #9, also known as 70-74 Thatcher Road. Property information from a quick on line search:

Failed 2012 CPA bid has background on the property and a description of habitat and wildlife birds etc

(2014) Excerpt from Friends of Good Harbor:“… Brierneck Realty LLC has begun construction on twelve condominiums on property at 70-74 Thatcher Road at the corner of Witham Street.  The new owners are Paul St. Hilaire and Robert Messina, who purchased the fully permitted property from James Griffoni and partners. The construction of condominiums at the edge of Good Harbor salt marsh was fought in court by the City of Gloucester on behalf of the Zoning Appeals Board.  The property owners had received a comprehensive permit from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Housing Appeals Committee based upon the inclusion of 25% affordable units under Chapter 40B and won final approval from the Supreme Judicial Court in 2011.  The Gloucester Building Department granted a final permit in the spring of 2014.  The Friends of Good Harbor held a purchase and sale agreement with the owners in 2013 with the intention of restoring the property to salt marsh, however the agreement expired and the original owners were unwilling to sign a renewal.  The new owners expect to build the condominiums in stages, with the first cluster now under construction and targeted for completion in 2015. Representatives of FOGH have met with the new owners about their plans for construction as well as design and landscaping details.  In addition, conversation is taking place with respect to coordinating the early-stage planning of a Thatcher Road walkway, for which the new owners have offered their cooperation. Planning for the construction of six condominiums across Witham Street is also underway with other owners on the Thatcher Road site of Olivia’s Restaurant (formerly Amelia’s).  The property has been rezoned for residential construction…”

2016 prospectus “Introducing Brier Neck Shores at Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester’s Newest water view condos. Located directly across the street from Good Harbor Beach you’ll experience calming salty air as you enjoy expansive Gloucester scenery from every window…townhomes are delightfully modern with stainless steel appliances, recessed lighting and hardwood flooring throughout. Open concept design is perfect for entertaining guests or peacefully enjoy your own company.  Enjoy all that this exclusive area offers while being close proximity to scenic Rockport, the Rockport Country Club, spectacular local cuisine and easy access to 128.” They’d be close to Gloucester’s 18 hole Bass Rocks Golf Club, established 1899


99 Thatcher Road: construction across from Good Harbor Beach

This location was the former site of a restaurant and parking lot (Olivia’s and Amelia’s before). The first photograph was taken just over a year ago, October 4, 2015. I wasn’t setting out to document the new construction; the nocturne grabbed me. Flash forward a year; the new build is progressing. 78 Thatcher.


October 4, 2015






good-harbor-beach-parking-lot-flooded-copyright-kim-smith-10-19-2016Folks sure had a surprise this afternoon when returning to their cars after a lovely beach day finding the Good Harbor Beach parking lot underwater. Some were angry and some panicking. I assured the panicking ones that they could get out safely. This is the second day in a row the parking lot has flooded. I’ve seen this in the spring more than once or twice but never in the fall. You can still maneuver through the lot by driving along the edge closest to the water. October’s Super Moon is the first of three in a row. I wonder what November and December’s full tides will bring.

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