As expected, the entirety of Norton Point Beach will be closed to oversand vehicle (OSV) traffic, beginning at midnight Friday night. This closure is due to state and federal laws protecting nesting piping plovers, which have been classified as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act since 1986.
Plover chicks can take up to 35 days to learn to fledge. According to Massachusetts state law, there can be no vehicle activity within 100 yards of the closest piping plover nest or chick. Plovers can cover a lot of beach.
South of the Dike Bridge, a short stretch of Leland Beach is closed, but drivers can bypass it on the bayside road. Chris Kennedy, The Trustees of the Reservations (TTOR) Martha’s Vineyard superintendent, said he is optimistic that the bayside road south of the Dike Bridge will stay open all summer.
All of Chappy, except the bomb abatement site at Little Neck, remains open to pedestrians. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
Bird monitoring teams will be checking nests at least three times a day. Updates will be posted on the TTOR Facebook page. OSV permit holders can also call 508-627-8390 for the latest in beach closures and openings.