Ryder Way Access
In addition to the nesting activity over the Crossover, there are several areas where plovers and least terns are nesting along Ryder Way. Under normal circumstances, the state and federal guidelines for piping plovers and least terns would require that the road close to vehicles in the areas where unfledged chicks are present. However, the Town participates in the statewide Habitat Conservation Plan for Piping Plover, which allows some flexibility for vehicle access along the road when chicks are present. Because of this permit, beachgoers are able to access the whole length of the road, parking lots and roadside parking areas, but with reduced hours. The Natural Resources staff monitors the location of the chicks and manages traffic if they approach or cross the road or parking areas.
There are currently unfledged piping plover and least tern chicks present between the Day Parking Area and the Crossover. There is a plover nest just past the Day Parking Area that is expected to hatch around June 29. Because of the location of the nest just past Day Parking and the presence of easily accessible foraging habitat on both the beach and harbor sides, it is possible, or even likely, that these chicks will cross the road back and forth to forage. The Natural Resources staff will be monitoring these chicks and managing traffic as necessary, so there may be delays if chicks are in or near the road. There is another plover nest near the Fishermen's Turnaround that is expected to hatch around July 14.
When traveling through signed areas, be alert to the possible presence of chicks and adult plovers in the road and stop to let them pass. If you do see chicks in or near the road, please notify the staff. If a take occurs (e.g., a chick is killed), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife may suspend use of the road and vehicle access will be limited to areas south of where the chicks are located, so please be cautious when driving through these areas.
Due to the presence of unfledged plover chicks past the Day Parking Area, the road and parking areas past the Day Parking Area close to vehicles at 7:00pm, including for fishing access. This restriction will move to south of the Day Parking Area when a plover nest hatches around June 29, and will move southward again to near the first cottage on the beach around July 14 when the nest near the Fishermen’s Turnaround hatches and will remain in place until the chicks are able to fly.