Gosnold voters unanimously approve Cuttyhunk preservation
Thanks to the support of Elizabeth Island residents, the Coalition is moving forward with an ambitious project that will protect Cuttyhunk Island’s unspoiled beauty forever.
At the Gosnold town meeting on May 20, residents voted unanimously to contribute $400,000 toward the Coalition’s Cuttyhunk Conservation Project. This provides 6% of the total project funding, and demonstrates the island’s united support for keeping Cuttyhunk’s rustic charm unchanged. The town’s share includes generous grants from Naushon Island’s Beech Tree Trust and from the Gosnold Fund at the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.
The Cuttyhunk Conservation Project will place 67 acres of Cuttyhunk’s extraordinary natural landscape under permanent protection. This includes the land atop Bayberry Hill and Haps Hill (also known as Lookout Hill), the highest points on the island and an important rainwater recharge area for the town’s public drinking water wells. Along the shoreline, the Coalition will protect Canapitsit Neck (also known as Barges Beach), Church’s Beach, and Copicut Neck. These lands will be managed by the Coalition and preserved for public access, ensuring they remain open to the hiking, birdwatching, swimming, and fishing that is such a treasured part of island life.
The Coalition is also working with the Spaulding family to preserve their land on Cuttyhunk’s West End, a stretch of untouched shoreline and three coastal ponds. In keeping with the family’s longstanding wishes, the family has decided to protect the land under a permanent conservation restriction held by the Coalition. This will mean the land remains privately owned, but that development on it will be permanently limited.
In addition to the funding secured from the town of Gosnold, the project has been granted a $400,000 state grant to protect Cuttyhunk’s land and a $300,000 state grant to guard its drinking water supply. Another $1 million has been committed from the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. To date, over $1,750,000 in private contributions have been received. The remainder of the funding is expected from other federal grants and $250,000 in additional private donations.
The Coalition is working this summer to raise the remaining $250,000 in private contributions needed to meet our total fundraising goal of $7 million. If you’d like to contribute and help preserve Cuttyhunk’s unparalleled beauty, please donate today.
This summer, the Coalition will also continue efforts to maintain clean water with a second season of boat waste pumpouts from our pumpout station at the fuel dock on Cuttyhunk Harbor.