Topics: Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

CHATHAM – With federal legislation to resolve the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge western boundary dispute between the town and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stalled, town officials are exploring another tack, a possible administrative solution to the dilemma. Exactly what form such an approach would take remains vague, but officials reported that they had a “promising” meeting in Washington, D.C. last w...

CHATHAM – The controversy over the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a complicated issue, and the way the story has been portrayed in the media – that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took over some 4,000 acres of water and submerged land west of the island in 2016 – isn't the way the agency sees things. “That is false,” Refuge Manager Matthew Hillman said of the spin the town and s...

Winter Storms Reshape Chatham's Coast

By: Tim Wood

Erosion Threatens Refuge's Morris Island HQ CHATHAM – It was a year ago Sunday that an early spring northeast storm punched a hole in South Beach, about a quarter mile south of Lighthouse Beach, creating a new inlet in the barrier beach that runs along the town's eastern shoreline. After a series of winter storms, that barrier beach looks more like Swiss cheese than a solid line of dunes. The April Fool'...

CHATHAM – While terns did well on the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge last summer – the refuge remains the largest common tern colony on the eastern seaboard – the number and nesting success of federally-endangered piping plovers fell below expectations. A total of 48.5 pairs of the small, sand-colored plovers nested on the refuge, a decrease from 52 pairs in 2016. Most (46 pairs) nested on South Monomoy, one...

Selectmen: Monomoy Refuge Letters A 'Slap In The Face'

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — From the town’s perspective, the latest volleys in the Monomoy refuge boundary dispute have added insult to injury, selectmen said Monday. On Jan. 5, federal officials replied to a letter the town sent to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke more than half a year earlier, asking him to intervene in the town’s dispute with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The reply didn’t come from Zinke or from an...

Gov. Baker Sides With Chatham In Refuge Boundary Dispute

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The town's effort to reclaim more than 3,000 acres of shellfish flats and submerged lands appropriated by the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge has just received some important political support. On Friday, Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker sent a letter to the House Committee on Natural Resources expressing support for a bill filed by Congressman William Keating, a Democrat, which would r...

Our View: Keeping Cape Cod Clean

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

A visit to Monomoy Island reveals a stunning landscape rich with wild birds, swaying beach grass, and miles of soft sand. But to call it “pristine” would be an exaggeration. To know why, all one has to do is look among the grasses and seashells anywhere on the beach. You'll find a wealth of trash. Some people might say, 'So what?' and chalk it up to modern life. But on the island, and off, trash has become a h...

Monomoy Refuge: Home To Terns, Tents And Trash

By: Kira Barrett

CHATHAM – On a small island situated on the elbow of Cape Cod, thousands of piercing cries from birds can be heard virtually any time, day or night. This is Monomoy Island, a bird sanctuary monitored and maintained by the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Monomoy is currently home to around 11,700 pairs of birds – that’s 23,000 individual birds, and the number just keeps growing. “We’ve been increasing tern...

CHATHAM — Gov. Charlie Baker last week received some tangible evidence that many local residents and visitors oppose the federal taking of more than 3,000 acres of state-owned tidal flats and submerged lands west of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Baker's office received a petition with 1,013 signatures urging him to actively support H.R. 1157, a bill introduced by Congressman William Keating, D–9 th ...

CHATHAM — In a step that is unusual, if not unprecedented, the town of Chatham has initiated a petition asking Gov. Charlie Baker's support for federal legislation that would restore the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge to its traditional area. Typically neutral in political disputes, the town is asking residents and visitors to sign petition forms at various town buildings, at Cape Fis...

Town Seeks Public Support In Refuge Dispute

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — In a statement released Tuesday, town officials asked the public to send letters to Gov. Charlie Baker and to key lawmakers expressing support for a bill that would negate the proposed expansion of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge boundary. “With the recent change in make-up of the board of selectmen, the board's subcommittee managing the town's campaign is Selectman Jeffrey Dykens and Selectma...

CHATHAM – Federal legislation to settle a disputed boundary at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge has thrust the town town into the national political scene. “We're part of the national dialog now,” said Selectman Seth Taylor, who testified on the bill last week before a House of Representatives subcommittee in Washington, D.C. last Wednesday. “This is in play at a level where they're really ripping each oth...

CHATHAM – Town officials were scheduled to travel to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to testify in a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on legislation clarifying the boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Town Manager Jill Goldsmith, Selectman Seth Taylor and Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson were to attend the hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fe...

CHATHAM – Town officials are hoping to convince the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources to approve legislation to clarify the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. In a March 6 letter, Town Manager Jill Goldsmith asked Republican Congressman Rob W. Bishop of Utah to support House Bill 1157, filed by Ninth Massachusetts District Representative William Keating at the request ...

Keating Reintroduced Monomoy Boundary Legislation

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Federal legislation to limit the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge to mean low water has been filed by Congressman William Keating. Keating filed the legislation last Thursday. The bill is the same as one filed last fall and seeks to clarify the United States government's interest in the area west of the refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asserted authority over 3,000 t...

Keating Files Monomoy Boundary Bill

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Federal legislation to limit the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge to mean low water has been filed by Congressman William Keating. Keating had filed the legislation last fall, but had to re-file the bill with the new Congress. The bill remove the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's authority over 3,000 to 4,000 acres of submerged lands west of the refuge, over which the agency...