The Trustees of Reservations this week unveiled a revised beach management plan for the 12 miles of land it owns in Edgartown and Chappaquiddick.

After releasing an initial draft of the plan last June, the Trustees spent the year gathering public feedback on topics such as oversand vehicle (OSV) access, shorebird protections and pet regulations.

The new plan is meant to address the concerns and requests of stakeholders and Chappaquiddick residents, Darci Schofield, the Trustees’ Islands portfolio director, said at a public meeting Wednesday. If approved by the Edgartown conservation commission, the county and the state, the plan could be implemented as soon as this fall.

More than 400 people responded to a Trustees’ survey after the initial plan was released.

“This was an opportunity for us to get grounded and understand perspectives from a diverse array of beach stakeholders,” said Ms. Schofield. “It was important for us all to get on the same page.”

The Trustees’ plan applies to Chappaquiddick’s eastern beaches, running from Wasque to Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge.

In its first draft, the plan made new restrictions to OSVs, including closure of the bayside trail in an attempt to protect nesting shorebirds and prevent erosion. The group received several criticisms, with people saying the changes were impractical.

Now, the plan proposes to keep the bayside trail open to OSVs where passage is safe and creating additional bayside parking. The Trustees will apply an “adaptive management approach,” explained Ms. Schofield, in which OSV trails will remain accessible as long as they maintain their integrity.

“OSV access to the bayside is critical to recreation and shellfishing,” she said. “What we’ve heard is that it’s important to be able to park in this area, do your shellfishing, bring your shellfish into your vehicle… That helped us understand why bayside access is so critical.”

In addition to regularly updating its social media accounts, the Trustees plan to establish a text alert system to notify people when trails close due to erosion, wildlife or inclement weather.

Ms. Schofield emphasized that beaches are dynamic systems that are heavily influenced by climate change. She encouraged visitors to be flexible.

“We might sometimes lose space to delineate [OSV] corridors,” she said. “Beaches can build up again and when that space is available… we will adapt to the changing conditions and keep trails open.”

Beachgoers will also need to stay up to date on shorebird protections, said Cynthia Dittbrenner, the Trustees’ director of coast and natural resources. Some trail and OSV restrictions will depend on when shorebirds are nesting, feeding or fledging. Signs and fencing will indicate shifting protected shorebird habitat.

As for the pet policy, dogs will be required to be kept on leashes on all beaches. The group is considering seasonally prohibiting dogs on beaches, but has yet to make a decision.

“Many of us have pets and I love to bring my dog on the beach,” said Ms. Schofield. “But as for our dog policy, we’re still undecided on how we will move forward with that.”

Ms. Schofield said that the Trustees welcome feedback on the new plan and will continue to refine it over the summer to best reflect the group’s mission and public needs.

For more information about the Beach Management Plan, visit