Mass Audubon Protects 30 More Acres on Scenic and Remote Cuttyhunk Island

Release Date:
July 24, 2020

LINCOLN, MA.—Mass Audubon has recently acquired two distinct land parcels comprising more than 30 acres on Cuttyhunk Island, the smallest and southwesternmost of the Elizabeth Islands, which stretch between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound.

The two successful land conservation projects, which include a mile and a quarter of shoreline and one of the island’s finest panoramic views, bring the total amount of land protected by Mass Audubon on Cuttyhunk to nearly 60 acres.

The larger, 26.5 acre-parcel, known locally as Copicut Neck, is considered by Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program to be important habitat for nesting American Oystercatchers, Willets, and other coastal birds.

This relatively long and remote peninsula on the island’s northeast shore also helps mitigate the effects of flooding from storms and other climate-change related impacts threatening Massachusetts’ coastal areas.

At 3.75 acres, much smaller Bunker Hill in the island’s interior is named for the site’s quartet of remnant World War II-era military observation structures. Its location on one of Cuttyhunk’s highest points offers an unsurpassed panorama that includes Buzzards Bay, the other islands of the Elizabeths chain, and across the Sound to Martha’s Vineyard. 

The protection of these beautiful and ecologically important properties (and others) would not have been possible without the generosity and far-sighted environmental vision of longtime resident Muriel “Oriole” Ponzecchi, who passed away in 2015.

“These two bequests—in the summer of 2020—reflect Muriel’s deep conservation ethic and reveal just how enduring her legacy will be for Cuttyhunk and for those who visit this spectacular island,” Mass Audubon Director of Land Conservation Bob Wilber said.

Ms. Ponzecchi’s collaboration with Mass Audubon goes back two decades, Wilber noted, “and so we are extremely grateful to have worked with Muriel and benefited from her lifelong commitment to preserving what is so special about Cuttyhunk.”

To learn more about the conservation organization’s commitment to land protection on Cuttyhunk Island, please visit Mass Audubon’s Gaining Ground blog.


Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at