As the month of June ends, another week on Dead Neck Sampson’s Island has come and gone. The cool and cloudy weather on Friday and Monday resulted in quiet days that kept most people away. However, sun and warm temperatures on Saturday and Sunday broke the cloudy spell and lured visitors out to the island to relax on the beach and swim. People from all over travelled in a variety of boats to enjoy a day on the island. It was great to see everyone using the open parts of the beach, which runs along Cotuit Bay near the western tip of the island (see island map attached).
On Monday, a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF) and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) were out on the island conducting surveys. They were collecting data on the size and quantity of killifish and early winter flounder. This information will be used to monitor these species’ numbers, as well as fluctuation of population dynamics from year to year. To learn more about the Marine Fisheries Institute collaboration between MA DMF and SMAST, check out their website – https://www.umassd.edu/mfi/.
While you are visiting the island, make sure to check out Pirate’s Cove. This hidden gem is located near the Sampson’s end and its entrance is marked by two spits of sand. The cove is a nursery for a variety of marine species, including fish, crabs, and more. As you walk along the sandy cove, you may see lots of crabs scurrying away as you approach. A variety of crabs are found in the cove, including blue, green, lady, spider, fiddler, and hermit crabs. You can gently pick up hermit and fiddler crabs, but please be sure to carefully put them back where you found them. The blue crab is native to the Cape. However, do not pick up and handle them as their claws have very sharp pinchers. The green crab is an invasive species in New England waters. An invasive species is a non-native organism that is introduced or transported by humans to a new location. These invaders thrive in their new environment with no natural predators and cause harm to the ecosystem and outcompete native species for food and space.
Again, just a friendly reminder to stop by and visit our BCWC tent on the island! We have fun activities for the family, including a scavenger hunt and cornhole. Please feel free to talk to any of our BCWC island staff about what we do on the island and what we are doing to clean our local waters.
Have a wonderful day!