Comprehensive Conservation Planning

Rippled sand on the beach - Matt Poole/USFWS.

The purpose of a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) is to specify a management direction for the refuge for the next 15 years. The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP.


We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are pleased to announce that we have just begun the development of a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and environmental impact statement (EIS) for Parker River and Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuges. We have prepared a Notice of Intent (NOI) to advise other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to consider in the planning process. We are also announcing public meetings and requesting public comments. To learn more about the CCP process, please visit the northeast planning website.

Parker River and Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuges

The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1942 to provide feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for migratory birds. Parker River NWR occupies 4,662 acres on the southern three-fourths of Plum Island, a 9-mile long barrier island off the northeastern coast of Massachusetts. Parker River NWR is a vital stopover site along the Atlantic Flyway for waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds. The primary purpose of the Parker River NWR is to preserve and manage habitat for a diversity of species, particularly migratory birds and wintering American black ducks.

Parker River Refuge also administers Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge, an unstaffed satellite Refuge off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts. Thacher Island NWR encompasses the northern 22 acres of the 50-acre island and was established in 1972 to provide feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for migratory birds. The Refuge is managed to protect migratory birds, endangered species and other wildlife and their habitats.

Contact Information

If you would like to ask questions about the CCP and planning process, or learn about how you can get involved at the refuge, please contact refuge staff at: Include “Parker River CCP” in the subject line of the message.