Norton Point temporarily closed to OSV access

Norton Point Beach OSV access will be temporarily closed to the public, effective Saturday, April 1. — Paulo DeOliveira

The Edgartown Parks Department announced Friday that due to administrative roadblocks at the state level, Norton Point over-sand vehicle (OSV) access will be temporarily closed, beginning Saturday, April 1. 

According to Edgartown officials, the town’s newly crafted beach management plan hasn’t received the greenlight from the necessary state entities, and is still pending approval from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries, Wildlife and Law Enforcement, Division of Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. 

April 1 was the first day the town was set to take over management of the popular area.

Permits are expected to go on sale in May, pending state approval. Current permit holders are not allowed in the area while the state reviews plans.

Norton Point, a vital barrier beach stretching over two miles, connects Edgartown to Chappaquiddick, and serves as a habitat for protected wildlife, along with being an ideal location for fishing and recreation. It is owned by Dukes County, and has been managed by the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) since 2006. 

After reaching a management agreement with the county earlier this month, Edgartown was set to begin its stewardship on Saturday, April 1, one day after TTOR’s lease expired.

Parks commissioners say they’re “confident” that the issues with the plan’s approval will be resolved in a timely manner. “The town is working diligently with the division’s staff to clarify any outstanding information that the division deems necessary,” a statement from the town’s parks department states. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”


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