Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Town of Chatham, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forge agreement for managing fishery resources within Nantucket Sound area of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

March 10, 2021


Linh D. Phu, Manager 

Eastern Massachusetts Wildlife Refuge Complex  

Office: 978-579-4026 

Cell: 571-423-6698 

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Town of Chatham announced the development of a Memorandum of Understanding for managing fishery resources within the Nantucket Sound area on the western boundary of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). 

Although the two parties do not agree on the western boundary, they have set those differences aside to manage fishery resources within the Nantucket Sound area of the refuge cooperatively for the benefit of the public, said Linh Phu, Refuge Complex Manager for the Eastern Massachusetts Wildlife Refuge Complex that includes Monomoy NWR.  She said this MOU demonstrates that shared commitment.    

The Service has worked cooperatively with the Town of Chatham (Town) for decades to manage fishery resources at Monomoy NWR. The agency’s final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP), however, raised concerns by the town about future management of fishery resources within the western boundary of the refuge.      

“We remain committed to continuing to work collaboratively with the Town and Commonwealth  to cooperatively manage these important fishery resources,” Phu said. “We respect the Town’s long history of managing recreational and commercial fisheries and have honored that history in the MOU.” 

The CCP was finalized in March 2016 following a more than 6-month public review period.  While the determination of federal ownership and jurisdiction was outside the scope of the CCP, the Service met with officials from the Town and the Commonwealth to hear their concerns.  The final CCP was modified to reflect this feedback and other public comments. 

The Town and the Service have a precedent for collaboration. For example, in 2015, the parties finalized an MOU to manage resources adjacent to the eastern boundary of the refuge and hope to build upon that collaboration with the MOU for the western boundary.   

“I congratulate the Service and the town of Chatham for their efforts to resolve differences on the management of the refuge,” said Dan McKiernan, Director, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.  “My agency recognizes the biological and cultural importance of the refuge and look forward to supporting the Service and the town of Chatham in current and  future endeavors to protect and manage the Monomoy refuge.” 

The refuge has continued to partner with the Town and local partners on projects of mutual benefit including free shuttle services and light house tours aboard the Service’s landing craft. Both the Town and the Service are committed to expanding collaboration and working together to manage fishery resources  into the future.   

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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