Explore one of Rhode Island’s most exquisite coastal ecosystems at Goosewing Beach Preserve, a sandy barrier beach along grassy dunes and the waters of Quicksand Pond in Little Compton. This glacier-carved environment isn’t just a beautiful place for a secluded beach day or a revitalizing seaside walk; it’s also important habitat for threatened birds that has been preserved by The Nature Conservancy.
Experience a glimpse of local maritime history at the Horseneck Point Life-Saving Station in Westport. This state-owned station, which is part of Horseneck Beach State Reservation, is one of the last of its kind in Massachusetts, and the only one on Buzzards Bay. Built in 1888 to protect sailors along this dangerous stretch of Buzzards Bay’s coastline, the Life-Saving Station was restored and reopened as a visitor center in 2009 by the Westport Fishermen’s Association.
Today, the Life-Saving Station is managed by the Buzzards Bay Coalition through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Historic Curatorship Program. This center tells the story of the Bay’s treacherous entrance, and the history of oil spills and accidents that have driven recent successes in environmental protection.
With spring comes the sound of songbirds, the sight of colorful flowers, the feeling of warm sunshine – and migratory fish returning to Buzzards Bay’s waters. Local anglers know all about the Bay’s famous spring striper runs, but do you know what those big fish are chasing when they make their way here? River herring!
Each spring, millions of river herring migrate from the Atlantic Ocean to coastal rivers and streams like those that flow into Buzzards Bay. They come here to spawn, or reproduce, in the river where they were born.
In this region, river herring run up local rivers from late February into June, depending on water temperatures. If you go at the right time, you can catch a glimpse of these small, silvery fish at one of these 10 herring runs around the region this spring.