239 Dyke Rd, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA
Owned By: Green Harbor Marina
Full service marina with launch ramp, fuel, winter storage, transient slips, restaurant, bait shop, WiFi, restrooms, well stocked parts center.
Part of the Safe Harbor Marinas network; also home to Brewer Service Yard.
Directions by Sea: Green Harbor Marina is located between Plymouth and Boston. Set course for Green can “G3” (green light flashing every 4 sec) GPS waypoints MA0090 N42⁰ 04.35’/W070⁰ 38.36’ from here head NW 500 yds to R N”6”, this is 150 yds outside mouth of harbor, continue NW keeping R”8” (on jetty with flashing red light) on starboard side. Continue ¼ mile staying in channel, marina is on left after green can “9”. VHF 65 or 781-837-1181
Some history: Ever since the Pilgrims settled in Marshfield, there have been efforts to improve the Green Harbor River’s navigability. In 1633, a canal was dug to better connect the river to the bay. In 1636, this canal was widened and deepened per order of the court.
The original mouth of the Green Harbor River, which was located on the Marshfield/Duxbury line, more than a half mile south of the present mouth, was closed by a storm in 1806. The present mouth opened in 1810, probably via the combined effects of nature and manpower.
According to Joseph C. Hagar’s Marshfield, 70’40” W, 42’5” N: The Autobiography of a Pilgrim Town, in 1806, a group of Marshfield landowners successfully petitioned the court for permission to dig a more direct canal from Green Harbor to Duxbury Bay. Known today as the Cut River, this canal flowed through the marshes and meadows behind Green Harbor Beach, and out to sea near present-day Canal Street on the Duxbury line. But soon after the canal was complete a November storm closed off its mouth completely.
An even more direct outlet was cut in 1810 – and remains to this day. While prior attempts to improve the river’s navigability had been permitted — or even decreed — by the court, this was a case of townspeople taking matters into their own hands. Hagar’s writes, “This labor was done under cover of night and about forty men were engaged in the undertaking.” (This was not an uncommon practice – similar attempts were made to improve the outlet for the North River.)
By eliminating the narrow last leg of the river, the 1810 cut dramatically increased the incoming tidal flow to the Green Harbor River. This was a boon to local fishermen, as it improved the harbor’s navigability. However the owners of farms bordering the river saw things differently. The increase in both the volume and the frequency of saltwater flooding to their lands was a big problem, as crops don’t like salt water.
So in 1871, a group of farmers petitioned the court to construct a dike, or tide gate, that would block the flow of saltwater upstream, and create more arable land. The dike was constructed in 1872, with the condition that “Should shoaling take place above the level of mean low water in the channel in consequence of dike construction, it was to be removed by the Marsh proprietors.” Shoaling did occur, and thus began the “Brant Rock Dike Feud.” Read all about it on our blog.
No trails within the property, but the Green Harbor Marina is located at the southern end of the Harbor Walk, a concrete walkway that extends for about 1 mile, passing Peter Igo Park and Harbor Park, and running along the edge of the salt marsh to the Marshfield Town Pier.
Habitats and Wildlife
The Green Harbor River, and one of its major tributaries, Wharf Creek, flow through this property. The Green Harbor River finds its source in springs and ponds in Duxbury. It twists and turns through Marshfield via large cranberry bog complex, the Green Harbor Golf Club, the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, property owned by the Marshfield Municipal Airport and Peter Igo Park. Just downstream of the Dyke Road bridge (and dike) it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Green Harbor.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 6.5 acres
Hours: Fuel dock is open 8am-4:30pm.
Parking: Limitedon-site parking.
Trail Difficulty: No trails.
Boat Ramp: Yes
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Green Harbor River