Nauset Beach OSV Reopening Pushed Back as Birds Re-Nest

A piping plover

ORLEANS – The Orleans Natural Resources Department is expecting Nauset Beach South to reopen for Over Sand Vehicles under the Habitat Conservation Plan as soon as July 29, but the department said that there are a few variables that could change the date.

The area is currently closed due to unfledged piping plovers.

The original nests were destroyed this year during a Nor’easter that hit the coast around Memorial Day, and while they re-nest readily, the clock effectively “starts over” for the fledging season and pushes back the beach opening date.

As it is still the nesting season for piping plovers and fledging dates can range as many as ten days, beachgoers could be waiting until August 8 to hit the beach. 

“Exclosures are used to protect the eggs from predation but unfortunately weather events are not something we can control,” wrote officials from the department in a statement. 

“Once we are down to only two unfledged broods remaining, we will immediately re-open. We have many staff daily monitoring the chicks and be sure that we will open as soon as possible.”

Under the HCP, vehicles are only allowed on and off the beach at certain times of the day and each vehicle must have an escort who walks in front in certain sections of the trails.

About Grady Culhane

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