Table of Contents
Coast Guide Background
Public Transit Services
Coast Guide Key
Be a Coastal Caretaker
Coast Guide Sites
Boston Harbor Islands
Boston Inner Harbor
Crane Beach Area
Danvers - Salem
Dorchester Bay - Quincy
Gloucester - Manchester
Lynn - Nahant
Plum Island & Vicinity
Quincy - Braintree
Revere - Saugus
Salem - Swampscott
Salisbury - Newburyport
Weymouth - Hingham
Winthrop - East Boston
The beaches, salt marshes, parks, and other places listed in this guide offer tremendous opportunities for recreation and relaxation. However, these places also serve many other purposes, such as homes for wildlife. Many of these areas also protect inland locations from storm damage and provide income for people in the tourism, fishing, and shellfishing industries. To help ensure that the coast can serve all these functions and more, remember these simple access ethics:
Follow directions. Read and respect all signs in coastal areas. Signs give important information about preventing erosion, protecting wildlife, ensuring safety, and reducing impacts to the ecosystem and surrounding community.
Watch where you’re going. Remember, fences are usually there to keep people off fragile dune grasses (which help prevent erosion), out of endangered wildlife habitat, or off private property.
Don’t litter. Litter is more than an eyesore, it is a safety problem for people and wildlife. Animals can be killed or injured when they become entangled in discarded fishing line, six-pack holders, and other items, or when they swallow trash that they mistake for food. People are also injured by broken glass or rusty metal. So, always dispose of trash properly or take it with you.
Give wildlife space. Avoid areas where birds and other wildlife are nesting, raising young, feeding, or resting. Keep pets out of these areas too. Also, be aware of nesting seasons. Many islands and other locations are closed in the spring and early summer to allow birds to successfully hatch and raise their young.
Help without harm. Not all sea creatures on land are in trouble. Seals, for instance, often look stranded when they haul themselves up on land to rest. Baby seals in particular can look abandoned when their mother temporarily leaves them when searching for food. Whatever large animal you find, keep at least 150 feet back and never touch or feed it. If you do find a beached whale, dolphin, or sea turtle, call the New England Aquarium’s stranding hotline at (617) 973-5247.
Live and let live. When beachcombing, leave anything that is still alive where you found it. Also, do not step on or collect plants, which prevent erosion and provide habitat and food for wildlife.
Use restrooms and other sanitary facilities. Human waste can cause health problems and lead to beach and shellfish bed closures.
Pump out. To keep bacteria that can cause health problems out of the water and away from beaches and shellfish beds, use a pumpout facility to remove sewage from boat holding tanks for proper disposal. Dozens of pumpouts are available alongthe Massachusetts coast. See the CZM website at www.mass.gov/czm/nda/pumpouts, or call the CZM Information Line at (617) 626-1212 for a current pumpout list.
Scoop the poop. Clean up pet wastes, which pollute the water, are unsightly, and can be a real problem for barefoot beach walkers.
Keep on the right track. Where vehicles are allowed at a site, keep them in designated areas. Do not drive near dunes or vegetation, and keep speeds down.
Most of all, do your best to keep the place the way you found it. This simple approach will help to ensure that others will be able to enjoy the area, and that coastal wildlife will be protected.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800Boston, MA 02114