Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Management plan proposed for Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
Balances rare species habitat with public use and enjoyment

April 8, 2014


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

UPDATE: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is extending the comment period for the draft comprehensive conservation plan/environmental impact statement (CCP/EIS) for Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. We want to ensure that summer residents in Chatham and the surrounding communities have adequate time to learn about and review the draft plan. The comment period will now be open until July 9, 2014.

Our proposed management actions strive to meet the refuge purpose, which is to provide habitat for migratory birds and preserve the refuge’s wilderness character. We want to employ a balanced approach to manage wildlife habitat and provide unique recreational opportunities for our visitors.

We look forward to public input during the upcoming open houses on April 24 and May 21. The open houses are opportunities for people to learn about the refuge and actions in the draft plan at various information stations, and they provide an informal setting to meet Service staff and for the public to submit written comments on the draft CCP/EIS.

The Service is also looking into the possibility of rescheduling the public hearing, which is currently planned for May 29, 2014, to a later date. Comments can be submitted via e-mail at; please include “Monomoy NWR Draft CCP/EIS” in the subject line. Comments can also be faxed or mailed to Libby Herland, Project Leader, at Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 73 Weir Hill Road, Sudbury, MA 01776. Comments can also be dropped off during regular business hours at the refuge’s Chatham office. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will release, for public review, the draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and environmental impact statement for Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Massachusetts. The document describes three alternatives that were evaluated for managing the refuge for the next 15 years. It also provides an analysis of the potential effects on the environment from implementing each alternative.

The draft document will be available for public review and comment through June 9, 2014. The Service will consider all comments before completing a final CCP for the refuge. Beginning April 10, 2014, the document can be viewed online at

We will hold two public open houses and a public hearing. The open houses will be on April 24 and May 21, 2014 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Chatham Community Center at 702 Main Street, Chatham, MA 02633. The public hearing will be on May 29, 2014 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Chatham High School at 425 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA 02633.

The Service has identified alternative B as the preferred alternative for management of the refuge. Under alternative B, we describe the actions we believe would best meet refuge purposes and goals, including:

  • Wildlife and habitat management: Describes proposed priority actions to conserve the refuge’s wildlife and habitats, including actions to protect federally threatened and endangered species, such as roseate terns and piping plovers. Special emphasis would be placed on obtaining baseline data to increase knowledge of wildlife populations and habitats in this dynamic coastal environment, enhance the ability to evaluate those resources in a regional context, and to anticipate the effects of climate change.
  • Refuge boundary: Clarifies the refuge boundary and the Service jurisdiction over lands and waters within that boundary.
  • Wilderness: Proposes actions to preserve wilderness character and provide for the continued use and enjoyment of refuge lands that are designated under the Wilderness Act.
  • Public Use and Access: Explains which public uses would continue, as well as those that would be changed, and the reasons for these recommendations. Also identifies new opportunities to enhance recreational opportunities, and make visits more informative, accessible, and enjoyable.

Monomoy NWR was established in 1944 to provide habitat for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses 8,321 acres with varied habitats of ocean, salt and freshwater marshes, dunes, and freshwater ponds. Of this, 3,244 acres are designated wilderness. The refuge provides important resting, nesting, and feeding habitat for migratory birds, including the federally threatened piping plover and roseate tern. More than ten species of seabirds, shorebirds, and water birds nest on the islands. The refuge also supports the second largest nesting colony of common terns on the Atlantic seaboard with over 8,000 nesting pairs.

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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