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.

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Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.