Chris Kennedy, Martha’s Vineyard superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations, has spent the past 25 years touring Trustees properties on the Island. He’s seen Wasque, Mytoi, Norton Point and Long Point in all seasons and all types of weather, watching the landscapes shift and transform over time.
Shorebirds nest on our beaches every year. As of June 23, The Trustees of Reservations were monitoring three piping plover nests on the Elbow, three pairs of recently hatched piping plover chicks on Leland Beach, and two large colonies of least, common and roseate terns on Norton Point Beach Edgartown.
As required by state and federal regulation, The Trustees are monitoring these nests and chicks and are providing the birds with adequate habitat to feed their young. The chicks can move around the property and are difficult to see.
The Trustees of Reservations announced this week that a major staff restructuring will take place around the management of their Vineyard properties with a shifting emphasis toward more staffing in the summer months and less year-round.
The announcement last week by The Trustees of Reservations of major staffing and organizational changes on the Island operation is unsettling less for what it said than for what it did not say. Ordinarily personnel changes may be taken as matters of ordinary business — a new manager is named here, a position is eliminated there. But the changes announced by the Trustees in a garden-variety press release that arrived by electronic mail are anything but ordinary.
Shoreline change is a dynamic process, especially at Wasque, the southern part of Chappaquiddick, owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations. This shoreline is very dynamic, sometimes accreting rapidly and sometimes eroding rapidly. Wasque is now eroding rapidly — parking lots have eroded away this winter, leaving an almost unrecognizable beach. What is going on? Why is it eroding so much now? There are several factors that explain this change.
Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, Barbara Erickson received an early education in the importance of open space.
“You get an appreciation for nature that sticks with you,” the newly-appointed president of The Trustees of Reservations said on Friday during a sun-splashed walk through Long Point Reservation in West Tisbury. “Then you come to a place like Massachusetts which is 10 times smaller and I really think it’s a call to action to preserve as much as we can. I think the Trustees has been a trailblazer in that effort.”
This Saturday, Feb. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon The Trustees of Reservations are hosting a cleanup at Leland Beach on Chappaquiddick. The morning’s work will focus on clearing logs and limbs that have washed up due to the erosion at the southern side of the Island. Volunteers can also walk the beaches to assist with the removal of harmful marine debris.
Volunteers are urged to bring a steel rake if possible, and gloves are advisable.