You are here:   Home > Our Blog
  Search                  |  Login
Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539
By dbalon on 6/19/2017 10:58 AM

We have a number of tern and plover nests that will be hatching on Norton Point beginning tomorrow morning.  Accordingly, we will be closing much of Norton Point  to OSV access from a point 1/2 mile from the Gatehouse.    There is still at least one plover nest closer to the NP gatehouse but we will need to wait and see how it fares.  That nest is due to hatch next week after the 25th.  On Chappy, I don't believe that Leland Beach will be looking at additional vehicle closures for several more weeks which would come pretty close to the time when we should see some easing of the Cape Poge restrictions.  All difficult to predict given the uncertainty of nest and chick survival as we get later into the shorebird season.


I've heard from several fishermen wondering if we expect to have a complete closure of all OSV beaches and I believe we will be able to avoid that.  Have also answered several questions from fishermen wondering why we don't escort vehicles like several of the Cape Cod towns are trying to do?  If you recall we discussed this at the Surfcaster's Association Banquet this winter.  We have the necessary permits to escort vehicles but the vehicles would have to be escorted by one of the passengers in the vehicle (i.e., vehicles without a second person in the OSV will be turned away), access would be limited from 10 AM to 4 PM only, drivers will have to take a state-approved shorebird identification test, and we would have to charge vehicles a surcharge on top of the permit fee to pay the $40K state-mandated additional staffing and equipping for this program.  The Surfcasters I spoke with had no stomach for those kinds of limitations and additional fees.  This new program is not what folks might think it is.  It does not allow unfettered access to closed beaches and it is limited to designated choke points (for us, it is the Cape Poge Narrows and the south end of Leland).  


OK, so let's say we exercised the permit to allow for limited daytime access to Cape Poge north of the Narrows.  It would only allow access as far as Aruda Point as we have chicks at the Jetties along with a growing tern colony there.  If you could somehow get around the Jetties we have plover chicks both inside and outside at the Elbow.  So, lets look at the south end of Leland.  We have a plover nest there that will be hatching in the next week or two.  But that wouldn't help us if we implemented the escorting program through that area as erosion is preventing vehicles from rounding Wasque Point.  


Trustees staff are looking at all of the ways we can maintain access while still preventing injury to these chicks.  If we have missed something or if someone has another idea, please let us know.  As always, we appreciate the support of the MVSA.


We'll stay in touch.

Chris Kennedy