By Mike LaCrosse

NEWBURYPORT (CBS) – Plum Island homeowners are upset large sand bags are now buried and breaking apart on the beach. “I have videos of bags floating into the ocean,” said Lela Wright.

“Where will these remnants end up and how’s that going to impact the resource and the environment?” said Robert Ciampitti.

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The bags are called “super sacks”.

WBZ’s helicopter captured video of the sacks being installed near Reservation Terrace last fall. More sacks were placed on the beach again ahead of some winter storms to prevent erosion.

Super sacks meant to prevent beach erosion ripped apart on Plum Island (WBZ-TV)

“At the moment it looks like a dump. It looks like somebody threw a bunch of trash and just left it there,” said Wright.

Lela Wright has to look at the sacks every day. She says it took her husband more than an hour to try and dig one out.

“We can’t lift these bags,” said Wright.

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Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday says the sacks weigh over a ton and the city is waiting for a permit from the state to remove them from the beach.

Holaday said it’s also part of a larger project to install wood pilings and biodegradable core to keep the beach in place until the Merrimack River dredge project later this year.

“We were really trying to find a way that we could do something to protect this area before the dredge happened,” Holaday said. “We thought these super sacks would work.”

“We’ve lost over 300 feet of beach,” said Marc Sarkady of the Plum Island Foundation. He says a long-term solution to the rapid erosion will require the federal government to step in and make adjustments in connection to their jetties.

“Once this is done there will be security and sustainability for the residents and the city infrastructure and for that whole section of neighborhood,” said Sarkady.

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Allowing residents like Wright to enjoy their homes without worry.

Mike LaCrosse