The Plover Watch

Welcome to the Plover Watch.

This is where you can come to find the latest information and updates on protected species management on the Town of Nantucket's beaches.  Please check back on a regular basis for updates on restrictions and closures.  The Town of Nantucket is required to manage protected species habitat in accordance with guidelines published by United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.

Protection of Habitat
Symbolic fencing is required to protect nesting habitat for protected species.  This fencing is used to mark the start of use restrictions on the beaches and water area around this habitat.
  • Pedestrians are allowed up to the edge of the fencing.  Please walk as close to the waterline as possible.
  • All kites including kites for kiteboarding must maintain a 200 yard buffer to the edge of the fencing.
  • Vehicles including beach bikes must stay within marked vehicle corridors or observe any beach closures for vehicles.
  • All pets must be leashed.


Smith's Point has re-opened to vehicles please respect the remaining fencing and please do not drive in the dunes or in the inter-tidal areas.  Thank you for your cooperation all summer.


Point of Breakers has been re-opened to vehicle traffic.  We are still waiting on the last few birds to fledge on Smith's Point before it can be re-opened.  We are checking everyday and will have it open as soon as they finish up.  They had a bit of a late start on Smith's Point this year but they should fledge soon.  Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Thank you to everyone for your cooperation with protected species areas.  Due to unfledged birds on Smith's Point/Esther's Island and in accordance with state and federal guidelines this area is closed to vehicles until further notice.  As soon as there are no more unfledged birds this area will be re-opened.  Pedestrians are still welcome to use the property and pets must be leashed as well.  Thank you and have a wonderful summer.

5/5/2017 Update
We have some early nests this year causing some restrictions.  The beach driving area at Point of Breakers is closed and driving from Nobadeer towards Surfside Beach currently ends at Surfside Beach.  If you see any plovers or have any questions feel free to contact our office and we are happy to help.