Dune Protection and Erosion Control

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Sand dunes serve an important purpose by absorbing the impacts and protecting inland areas from high energy storms and act as a resilient barrier to the destructive forces of wind and waves. They also act as sand storage areas that supply sand to eroded beaches during storms and buffer windblown sand and salt spray.

Where vegetation can get a foothold in the dry, unfertile sand, the windblown sand grains get batted down to the base of the plant and the sand surface incrementally rises, one grain at a time.  Your feet are a threat to  dune vegetation.  Without realizing, people crush fragile plants and flatten nests and small creatures hidden in the grass. 

Sandy Neck Dunes 2001

Beach grass has adapted to being buried by the sand and it makes its way to the new surface as it gets buried. In time of large ocean storms waves crash into the dunes and the sand is re-supplied to the beach on front, which has been eroded in the early stages of the storm. The relationship of the beach and dune is an important symbiosis.  This process that occurs during the winter months dictates how we manage our beach in the summer. 

Without vegetation, the dune is exposed to wind erosion resulting in blowouts or breaches in the dunes.  As a result, inland areas become more vulnerable during coastal storms. Protecting dunes protects the sand supply that slows shoreline erosion.

Help preserve the sand dunes, dune grass, and nesting habitat for our bird species.  Please stay on maintained trails.  Shortcuts leave lasting scars.  Picture3

Things that can go wrong will go wrong on a Holiday!

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Turn the frown into a smile!!! The pumper is fixed and we are all set!!!!!!!!!!

Tell the guy who drives the pump truck that he is AWESOME!

We all plan the best we can for the holidays. This fourth of July 2015 is no exception. The staff here at Sandy Neck Beach Park has been working around the clock to insure that our guests have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July weekend.  But sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, things beyond our control go wrong…

The porta potties on the Off Road Vehicle Corridor are currently out of order!  The pumper truck is not working and we are doing everything we can to get it fixed as soon as possible.

We apologize for this inconvenience and will post on our website as soon as they are back in working order!

4th of July at Sandy Neck Beach Park

The Sandy Neck Beach Park Staff wishes to extend a warm welcome to everyone for the 2015 Summer season at the beach!

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 With the 4th of July fast approaching we want to update you on Beach conditions. The Off Road Vehicle Beach is open to Trail 2, (1.4 miles).  The speed limit is 5 MPH.  Park with your headlights facing the dunes. Campers may park with either their headlights or taillights to the dunes. We ask those campers who park with the taillights to the dunes to put their hang tags in the rear window of the camper for easy viewing!

Please visit our website at www.sandyneckbeachpark.com for ORV parking diagram.

We expect a busy 4th of July weekend and want everyone to have fun and remain safe!  A couple of reminders to help you enjoy your time here at Sandy Neck:

1. On the Off Road Vehicle Corridor, dogs must be leashed at all times (15′ leash or less). No dogs allowed in parking lot or on public beach.

2. Fires are allowed in designated areas at 7 pm.

3. Per the fire department, NO sky lanterns are allowed to be set off from the beach.

4. Anyone visiting the beach, either going to the parking lot or Off Road must be through the gatehouse by 9 pm.

5. Curfew is 11 pm. You must be out of the park by that time.

Please call the gatehouse at 508-362-8300 with any questions

Thank you for making Sandy Neck Beach Park your vacation destination!

 

 

Something for everyone at the Sandy Neck Gatehouse Store!!

With Memorial Day fast approaching, the staff at Sandy Neck is working hard to get everything ready for the Summer Season.

One of the great things about a new season is the new merchandise! We have added to our items this year and already folks are liking what they see!  We would love for you to come by and take a look.  Below is a sample of what we have…Stop by the Sandy Neck Gatehouse/Store soon!

snk bag ORV Tee mug or glass long sleeve tee kids corner H2O Floppy hat SNK Merchandise

Spring arrives at Sandy Neck, really!!

In spite of the cool temperatures and gray days, there are signs of Spring here at Sandy Neck!  The beach conditions continue to improve and with the hard work of the staff, new ORV signs are going up and much of the debris from the Winter have been removed. The new dune nourishment at the lower parking lot is holding and and hopefully the storms out of the Northeast will stay away!

4 6 2015 sunrise

The new season brings with it the return of the Ospreys to their nests. We have a pair in the Great Marsh nest across from the gatehouse. Please come and see them as they prepare their nest for the breeding season.

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Plovers are making their way back and you may see them scurrying about the beach on their way to the shoreline to feed. Please be respectful and careful when driving on the ORV corridor. Keep your eyes open and slow down when you see a Plover!

Plover a 2015

At the gatehouse we have added credit cards for your convenience! The minimum charge is $10. Credit cards cannot be used to purchase a Public Parking hang tag when we begin to charge for Bodfish parking in the Summer months. Credit cards may be used to purchase your ORV Stickers, Camping nights and Merchandise.

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Gatehouse hours for the month of April are: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm.

The entire staff here at Sandy Neck is looking forward to a safe and fun 2015 and we look forward to seeing you all at the beach!

Update on Neptune damage

Sandy Neck took yet another hit from the latest winter storm, Neptune.  We added a foot of snow, not counting the drifting. Off Road Vehicle access is closed for safety reasons. The access trail is snowed in and it will take a while to get things back to normal.

The lower Bodfish parking lot suffered damage on the front dune and while we are awaiting emergency sand, we have the lower lot closed.

Please be careful if you are walking the front beach or marsh trail. Snow on the front hides the debris, lots of wood with nails in it, and the snow drifts on the marsh trail make walking treacherous.

This winter’s weather has taken a toll on all of us and we are all looking forward to spring!looking from lower parking lot e to w Handicap stairs b front dune w to e y front dune w to e f

Alaska? Antarctica? No, Sandy Neck!

Ice being pushed up onto the ORV corridor

Ice being pushed up onto the ORV corridor

 

Partially frozen "slushy" water battering the beach

Partially frozen “slushy” water battering the beach

 

The point at SNK where the birds are staying in open water

The point at SNK where the birds are staying in open water

Recent storms and sustained frigid temperatures have changed the beach drastically this week. Cape Cod Bay is beginning to freeze and all of that frozen, slushy water is being pushed up and piled on the beach forming large ice formations.  The landscape has changed from a wide open beach into a frozen wonderland.  If you can stand the weather take a walk down the beach and see it for yourself.  It is truly a rare site.

The snow and ice has buried a lot of the debris that washed ashore during the blizzard. These conditions make it treacherous for driving so please be patient, we will open the beach as soon as possible.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

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This gull thought the surf clam was going to be an easy meal. Little did he know the clam had other ideas. It clamped down on the gulls beak, trapping it and anchoring it to the ground. When Park Manager Nina Coleman found them the clam was frozen from the fridgid temps and the gull was tired from being anchored down all night. The two were brought to Cape Wildlife for a health evaluation and two days later the gull was released. Unfortunately, the clam died from the interaction but it was fed to the gull. This gull will think twice before he tries to eat shellfish again.

Driving on the beach in the Winter…Dune destruction

It is such a privilege to be driving on the beach at Sandy Neck at any time of the year!  So many of our patrons love to come to the beach after the hectic Summer season is past and enjoy a more peaceful and quiet time on the beach.  The changing of the seasons here at Sandy Neck is not to be missed and we love having folks come to explore and enjoy.

 

Sadly there is a trend that we have become aware of, and one that we must address.

 

 There are some that drive on to the beach that seem to have a lack of respect for the fragile environment that is Sandy Neck.  This is only a small percentage of the people who visit, but because of the damage they are doing, we may have to make some changes in time to protect the beach and the dunes.

A Sandy Neck Off Road Vehicle Permit is required year round!

 

We have rules in place and it is important that they be adhered to:

 

  1. NO walking in the dunes. The sand is fragile and the beach grass that grows there is important for erosion control. Each step you take in the dunes, you are impacting the life of that dune.  We have six miles of front beach for walking as well as the Great Marsh trail which safely takes you through the dunes. The trail comes back onto the front beach at Trail 1, Trail 2, Trail 4, Trail 5 and Trail 6. There would be no need to walk up the face of a dune from the front of the beach.
  2. Driving on the ORV corridor.  Each ORV Sticker holder is provided with a book or rules and regulations when purchasing a sticker.  In the regulations are specific instructions for driving on the beach.  NO driving on the tidal flats.  There is so much life that calls the tidal flat home and by driving on the flats, we destroy that life.  NO driving on the dunes.  Driving on the toe of the dune or higher creates erosion and causes the dunes to fall away exposing the roots of the dune grass and destroying the erosion protection.  YOU MUST air down your tires.  The minimum that is required is 18psi.  We are airing down the Sandy Neck vehicles to 15psi as the sand is soft and it makes it easier on the vehicle engine when driving.  By not airing down, several things occur. First the driver creates ruts in the sand that make driving much more difficult for everyone. Secondly, not airing down properly is dangerous as the driver may become stuck in the sand and as there are not as many people on the ORV corridor, it is not an ideal situation.

 

While enjoying your beach, should you see anyone that is driving in a dangerous manner, or in a manner that would be considered unhealthy for the beach, please call the Gatehouse and report it.  Even if the Gatehouse is not occupied, we check in often to get the messages off the answering machine. Gatehouse 508-362-8300

 

Please remember: This is YOUR beach and we ask that you all help protect it so that it can be enjoyed all year long by everyone!

 

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Cold Weather Safety Tips: A Few Things to Think About Before Going Outside

Here are a few cold weather safety tips to keep you safe and warm during outdoor recreation pursuits.

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1.  No matter what activity you have planned, whether it is hiking, hunting, ice fishing, or bird watching, always tell someone where you are going and what you are doing.  Make sure someone knows where you are going so they know what time to expect you back.  It’s also a good idea to leave a note on your vehicle dashboard so Natural Resource Officers are aware of your approximate location and time of return.

2.  As always, be prepared with water and first aid kit to prevent a minor incident from becoming an emergency.  A few other additions to your backpack could include a flashlight, a map, and snacks. Ask for a Sandy Neck map at the gatehouse prior to your hike. 

3.  As with any activity outdoors, be realistic about your abilities, know what you are capable of accomplishing before heading out.  Walking in soft sand can be very taxing on the body and uses a lot more energy than walking on a hard surface.  Remember when you get to your destination you are only half way through your journey because you still have to make it back. 

4.  If driving off-road making sure to maintain safe speed and be aware of your surroundings.  High tides are extreme in the winter months and will often cause the beach to pinch off trapping you and your vehicle.  Exercise more caution during the winter months to avoid getting stuck on the beach and pay attention to the tide charts.

5.  Be prepared for anything.  Get updated weather information before you set off for a hike or drive and plan accordingly. Be ready for unexpected weather with extra clothing, gloves, and hats. If planning to be outside for a long period of time, bring extra layers to add as the temperature drops.  Sandy Neck hats and sweatshirts can be purchased at the Sandy Neck gatehouse.

6.  Hunters, hikers, and everyone else recreating outdoors should be wearing bright clothing to maintain visibility. Even during the winter there is a lot of activity in the great outdoors, always be aware and respectful of others using recreational areas. 

Contact the Sandy Neck Gatehouse with any concerns you have while recreating at Sandy Neck at 508-362-8300.