The Nature Conservancy works to protect the salt marshes of Sandy Nck at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the most productive of all ecosystems but under increasing threat from coastal development and human disturbance.
salt marshes of Sandy Nck at Cape Cod The Nature Conservancy works to protect the salt marshes of Sandy Nck at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the most productive of all ecosystems but under increasing threat from coastal development and human disturbance. © Karen Lombard

Places We Protect

Sandy Neck Preserve

Massachusetts

Low-lying sand dunes and coastal thicket on the shore of the bay are home to turtles and shorebirds.

Why You Should Visit

Characterized by sand dunes and coastal thicket, this six-mile barrier beach protects some of the best dune and swale communities in the Northeast. The beach provides important nesting and feeding habitat for migrating shorebirds and the federally threatened piping plover. Diamondback terrapin turtles also nest and feed in the dunes and saltmarsh.

What TNC Has Done

The Nature Conservancy has assisted in the protection of six additional tracts in the larger Sandy Neck/Great Marsh system that are now held by other entities. The Conservancy also successfully initiated and managed invasive species at the site from 2001-2009 and contributed to the creation of a nature trail.

What to See

Dune plants and saltmarsh plants and depending on what season you visit Piping Plovers, migrating shorebirds and neotropical migrant songbirds. Due to the difficulty of access to Conservancy property, we recommend you visit the town of Barnstable’s beach and marked trails including a nature trail that begins at the property’s gatehouse. Visitors are instructed to stay on the beach, dune or marsh trails, as access to dunes is not permitted. Get more information and policies related to Sandy Neck Beach Park. Note: you must pay for parking during the summer.

If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Boston office at 617-532-8300.