Portuguese Man-of-Wars Invade Vineyard Waters

Island waters have been invaded by Portuguese man-of-war in at least three towns in the past week, beach managers are reporting. The jellyfish-like creatures have washed up on beaches in Edgartown, Aquinnah and Chilmark, as well as in Westport, according to mainland news reports.

South Beach Reopened After Man-of-War Infestation

South Beach reopened to swimming Thursday after several Portuguese man-of-war stings forced the town to close the beach to swimming on July 3. “They are dangerous, they are prolific,” said Edgartown parks administrator Marilyn Wortman Wednesday morning, just hours after two lifeguards were stung and sent to the hospital. “Don’t go in,” she said, “you’re going to get stung.”

Riptide Warning for South Shore Has Expired

South-facing beaches along Martha’s Vineyard are under high risk for rip currents today, the National Weather Service has announced. The warning will remain in effect through Monday evening.

In response to the warning, The Trustees of Reservations has closed the beach at Long Point Wildlife Refuge. Swimmers are encouraged to use the pond for swimming.

Vulnerable Plovers Abound on Storm-Washed Beaches

While winter storms have threatened some waterfront homes, they’ve been a boon to nesting piping plovers, who prefer the scoured beaches left by storms and hurricanes. But this year’s population of the tiny migratory shorebird still face challenges from predators.

Portuguese Man-of-War Warnings Posted on South-Facing Beaches

Large numbers of Portuguese man-of-wars were found washed up on the south shore of the Vineyard this week, prompting The Trustees of Reservations to post notices at Norton Point beach in Edgartown.

Chilmark Beaches Closed Temporarily to Swimming

Chilmark town beaches Lucy Vincent and Squibnocket remain closed to swimming after droves of Portuguese man-of-war began washing up on the southern shore of the Island Monday, stinging five swimmers within minutes at Lucy Vincent. Two of the swimmers were hospitalized and released for wounds from the jellyfish-like creatures.