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Posted 3/30/2017

Release no. 17-023

Tim Dugan

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District with assistance from the U. S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (USAESCH), and their contractor GSI, conducted a Remedial Action to remove munitions both on land, in marsh areas, and in the waters/sediments of Cape Poge Bay around Little Neck from March to December 2016.  Little Neck is part of the Trustees’ Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge on Chappaquiddick Island. 


GSI will return to the site on Chappaquiddick at the end of March/beginning of April 2017 to perform additional removal of munitions on both land, marsh and in the waters/sediments of Cape Poge Bay. Additional work at Cape Poge is required due to a much larger quantity of practice bombs found in the Former Target Area on land as well as in Cape Poge Bay during the 2016 Remedial Action.  As a result, the initial boundary for removing munitions has been expanded 300 feet further outward in the water, and the land boundary has been expanded to the beach side of the Atlantic Ocean.  Additional work is also required in the highest density area of munitions, which was the location of the former Cape Poge Little Neck Target Area on the western land point at Little Neck. 


The previous Remedial Investigation delineated the nature and extent of munitions, and resulted in finding eighty three (83) MK23 practice bombs at Cape Poge with intact spotting charges – the finds were both on land and in the water.  A spotting charge contains live explosive material that can pose an explosive hazard if not handled properly. 


During the Remedial Action from March to December 2016, the bomb technicians found the following items:


On Land:

Anomalies Dug: 15,225

MEC Items (Munitions and Explosives of Concern): 1,047 practice bombs posing an explosive hazard

MD Items (Munitions Debris): 12,908 bomb pieces with no explosive hazard


Underwater in Cape Poge Bay:

Anomalies Dug: 6,288

MEC Items (Munitions and Explosives of Concern):1,707 practice bombs posing an explosive hazard

MD Items (Munitions Debris): 126 bomb pieces with no explosive hazard


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is starting a similar munitions clean up at West Tisbury Long Point Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding underwater areas of Long Cove Pond and Tisbury Great Pond (TGP).  Like Cape Poge, this area was used heavily by the U.S. Navy in WW II for both strafing and bombing targets by Navy aircraft.


The areas to be cleared of munitions include upland areas of land, inland water (both Tisbury Great Pond and Long Cove Ponds), Dune, Beach and Ocean Surf Zone.  The upland land and inland water work in the ponds will commence in April 2017. The dune work will take place from September to December 2017.  The previous Remedial Investigation delineated the nature and extent of munitions, which resulted in finding five (5) MK-23 practice bombs.   The finds were both on land and in the water.  Also, additional munitions debris and suspect UXO items were recovered by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit from Newport, R.I. when cuts were made in the barrier beach to open up/drain Tisbury Great Pond to the ocean. 


Further information regarding both of the above projects can be obtained by visiting the Corps website at the following link: Once on the website, click on Missions, then Projects/Topics, then Massachusetts, then Martha’s Vineyard.


The Remedial Investigations, Feasibility Studies, Proposed Plans and Decision Documents for both Cape Poge and Tisbury Great Pond are available on the Corps website.  Any additional information or concerns may also be sent to the Corps Project Manager, Ms. Carol Ann Charette, at 978-318-8605 (office) or 978-505-2918 (cell) or via email at


The public is reminded that due to rapid coastal erosion, many items continue to be found.  These items should not be touched or thought of as inert or not of a concern, despite past experiences. Items should not be taken home, and if anyone has munitions items in their home, they should call the local police department (911) to have a munitions trained individual come to their home to inspect the item to determine if it contains any explosive material, and remove it safely, if necessary.