Del Deo Back in Dune Shack Home After New Agreement with National Seashore

Salvatore Del Deo returns to the Outer Cape shack. Tatiana Del Deo ©2023

PROVINCETOWN – 94-year-old artist Salvatore Del Deo has returned to the Outer Cape dune shack he has occupied and maintained for over seven decades after reaching a deal with federal officials from the Department of the Interior and the Cape Cod National Seashore to stay five more years.

The return comes after protests and prolonged talks between the Del Deo family and members of the National Park Service, as well as previously rejecting a two-year permit to stay.

The Del Deo family said in a statement that they look forward to cooperating with the Seashore on continued preservation of the natural and cultural environment.

The Cape Cod National Seashore had been looking to evict current occupants of the Outer Cape shacks and put them up for seasonal rental application through a new caretaker initiative.

The following is the full statement from the Del Deo family:

We would like to sincerely thank attorney’s Bruce Bierhans and Anthony Mavronicolas, as well as their counterparts at the Department of the Interior, Brianna C. Kenny and team for working cooperatively to return Salvatore and the Del Deo family to the dune shack that has been in our stewardship for over 77 years. We look forward to a new era of cooperation with the Cape Cod National Seashore for the continued preservation of the natural, cultural and historical environment that has traditionally defined this place for over a century. We hope that the positive resolution attained today, is reflective of a growing appreciation of the on-going contribution that the historic dune community of Provincetown and Truro has made, and continues to make, not just to the past, but to the future.

The Del Deo family would particularly like to share our appreciation for the considerable effort in the face of potential government shutdown, that the agents and officers of the National Park Service made to secure our return to the shack in time so that we might celebrate the birthday of Josephine Del Deo, on Oct 4th, at the shack where we have celebrated her birthday nearly every year since Salvatore and Josephine first met in 1953. Josephine is widely recognized for her tireless efforts to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore and as a defender, of its cultural and its natural environment. She passed away in 2016, but we are confident in our knowledge that she would be grateful.

The shack known as Frenchie’s shack, returned to our care, today, October 1st. In addition to our gratitude for the legal and government professionals involved in finding an amicable resolution, we would also like to sincerely thank all our elected representatives, US Senators Warren and Markey, as well as US Congressman Keating, and State Congresspersons, State Senator Cyr, and State Representative Peake who worked with the DOI in finding a solution. And most significantly, we would like to give heartfelt thanks to our friends, our community, the over 35,000 petitioners who stood with us, and to the press, who gave us a voice to share our concerns for our community and ultimately inspire everyone that this story touched.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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