About the Refuge
Welcome to the Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge, where coastal habitat is actively protected and managed for migratory birds. Its location within the Atlantic Flyway, means the refuge provides an important resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for many species of songbirds and shorebirds. Off-shore habitats are used by seals, waterfowl, loons, grebes, cormorants and alcids.
Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge sits 1.5 miles off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts and about thirty miles north of Boston. The refuge encompasses the northern 22 acres of the 52-acre island and is only accessible by boat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the refuge to protect migratory birds, endangered species and other wildlife and their habitats. The refuge was established in 1972.
Thacher Island also has a rich cultural history, perhaps best symbolized by the twin lighthouses that continue to grace its rocky landscape.