News Release

Management plan announced for Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge

April 5, 2013

Carl Melberg, 978-443-2898,

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released the final comprehensive conservation plan for Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge in Nantucket, Mass. The CCP is a 15-year strategic plan that guides management for all refuge programs.

This CCP emphasizes protecting habitat and managing populations of wildlife that are at risk. It provides a balance between managing for wildlife and offering recreational opportunities on the refuge. Assuming that staff and funding is available, the Service plans to undertake the following actions during the next 15 years:

Wildlife and habitat management. The Service will continue to collaborate with agencies, organizations and landowners to meet federal and state management guidelines for piping plovers and terns on the refuge, create a system of zones on the refuge that will protect habitat for seals and nesting birds and those that are staging for migration, and allow public access to various portions of the refuge year-round. To be better able to protect habitats and monitor wildlife, the Service will seek funding each year to employ on-site seasonal rangers, collaborate with partners on wildlife research, control predators as necessary, treat invasive species, and protect and restore dune habitat.

Visitor services. Fishing will continue on the refuge, and the Service will enhance other opportunities for people to observe and photograph wildlife, and participate in environmental education and interpretive programs. It will work with partners to increase awareness about the refuge and the Service’s work to conserve wildlife.

Refuge administration. When funding allows, the Service will add the following permanent positions: a part-time, year-round visitor services specialist, a full-time biologist stationed on Nantucket, and a new law enforcement officer stationed at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham, Massachusetts.
The Service will also continue to work with the U.S. General Services Administration to acquire excess Federal lands in partnership with other agencies, organizations, and willing sellers. The Service has identified opportunities to increase land protection by 2,036 acres on both Nantucket and associated islands.

The draft CCP and environmental assessment were made available for public review and comment from August 2 to October 1, 2011. Based on input it received, the Service will implement Alternative B, which was presented as one of three management options during the review period.

To obtain a copy of the completed CCP, please contact the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex at 978- 443-4661, send an email to or download the CCP at:

The 21-acre Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1973 to protect and manage migratory birds. The refuge lies at the northern tip of a narrow peninsula that forms the northernmost point of Nantucket Island, in an area commonly known as Great Point.

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