September - October 2016

A message from our president



What a summer----many, many people on this narrow land, day after day of sunshine, and your board and active volunteers worked through it all!

Some spent shifts at seal haul outs, educating visitors on seal behavior and appropriate human behavior for viewing them.

The dedicated gala committee moved into high gear. Decorations, publicity, accessing print and social media, soliciting auction items, setting up Payomet, shepherding Dr. Beach-our volunteers did it all.

Their hard work reaped dividends in the form of an event that was both fun and financially successful.

Seems like everyone loves the Red Maple Swamp Trail and supports our focus on its repair.

While the fundraiser consumed most of our energy, the board also focused on increasing the visibility of the Nickerson Fund. At the Park's Science Symposium in August, FCCNS joined with Park staff and the Seashore Advisory Commission to call attention to the important work accomplished by young scientists supported by the Nickerson Fund and the need for additional resources to continue this work.

Your board looks forward to this new season. We will seek new opportunities to preserve, protect, and preserve the Cape Cod National Seashore.

We also appreciate this special time of year-shorter days, yes, but warmer waters, less traffic, and the ability to slow down and just enjoy this beautiful place. I hope you join us on both fronts--- give us your ideas and take time to experience your Seashore.

Pat Canavan

Member News

Our fall member appreciation event will be a tour of the Highland House Museum, led by Susan Kurtzman (former curator) and Dave Spang, Tuesday September 27 at 10AM. If you have never visited the museum, you are in for a real treat!

The Highland House Museum was originally built by the Isaac Small family in 1907 as a resort hotel. The building has a large main hall with an original pressed tin ceiling.

There are many permanent exhibitions including a Native American collection of points and tools, and a Shipwreck Room with artifacts from many of Cape Cod's famous shipwrecks, wooden model boats, and whaling tools.

Upstairs is like walking back in time.

The long hallway leads past the original hotel rooms which are now exhibition rooms. Several have turn of the 20th century furnishings. There is a children's room with antique dolls and toys, a replica dining room, kitchen and laundry room, as well as two rooms dedicated to Truro Cottage Industries - The Fishnet Industries (circa 1940) and the Jobi Pottery (circa 1950).

Highland House is open Monday - Saturday 10-4:30, and closes for the season September 30th. Don't miss this chance for an in-depth look at a historic Truro landmark. RSVP required -

Participation will be limited to 24 people.

News from the Seashore

The National Park Service Centennial celebration on August 25th was a huge success! Large and appreciative audiences attended all events, including the Science Street Fair, Science Symposium, family activities at Province Lands, and the USPS cancellation.

Over 800 people enjoyed the evening performance by Cape Symphony Orchestra, generously sponsored by Eastern National.

Science in the Seashore
Owen Nichols measuring a lobster for research.

The Nickerson Fellowship has been giving grants to support research by young scientists since 1992. The award honors Joshua Nickerson, a Cape Cod environmental advocate and a long time member of the Seashore Advisory Committee.

Funding was provided by the Nickerson family and others, with a matching grant from the Kelly Foundation. Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore administers and supports the fund. The Park has just announced that it will contribute $3000 in Eastern National funds each year as a match to support a second intern.

There are two winners this year. Derrick Alcott is a University of Massachusetts PhD candidate who has been studying herring migration in the Herring River in Wellfleet.

He has been tagging herring above the Herring River Dike and following their progress upstream gathering important baseline data, prior to an anticipated restoration of the Herring River.

This year his grant was to continue to study impediments to spawning, which can include partial obstructions such as culverts, and increased predation by snapping turtles, raccoons, striped bass and coyotes.

Trail cameras provided by the Nickerson Fund have dramatically documented predation. This year Derrick was awarded a grant to continue the study and to include stable isotope analysis of snapping turtles to assess presence of herring in the diet of turtles near culverts and further away.

The second fellowship was awarded to Owen Nichols, who works for the Center for Coastal Studies and is a PhD candidate at U-Mass Dartmouth.

He was funded to do a pilot study to develop sampling methods for the flux of shellfish and horseshoe crab larvae in East Harbor. The East Harbor site was artificially isolated from Cape Cod Bay by a causeway in 1868.

After an event of severe oxygen depletion and a fish kill in 2001, a valve in the drainage system was opened, allowing for some restoration of tidal flow and reestablishment of native shellfish and horseshoe crabs.

The possibility of a de facto spawning sanctuary exists in the harbor. A full study to start in 2017 will measure the flux of these larvae into the bay.

Volunteer News

RSVP required for both events.

National Public Lands Day
Saturday, September 24

Red Maple Swamp Trail Needs You!

This is an annual nationwide event that invites all who are interested to participate in a volunteer project on public lands. Locally, two projects will occur in the Fort Hill-Red Maple Swamp Trail areas.

Those trail volunteers who have up-to-date chainsaw certification will work with the trail crew to knock back large vegetation in advance of Red Maple Swamp Trail work. Everyone else will cut vegetation growing along Fort Hill's stone walls that the recent mowing could not get.

Everyone will gather at 9 AM, on Saturday, September 24, at the junction of the Fort Hill and Red Maple Swamp Trail.

Centennial Volunteer Recognition

Calling all current and former national seashore volunteers!

You are invited to an NPS Centennial VIP Recognition Reception on Saturday, September 24, at 5 PM at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham.

This is the first time the national seashore has hosted a park-wide volunteer recognition event, including volunteers who work with our partner organizations.

All volunteers will be recognized, plus those who have 10+ and 15+ years of service. Please RSVP by September 16, and indicate the year you started as a VIP.

Our Mission Statement

Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore (FCCNS) is the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the Cape Cod National Seashore; a partnership established in 1987 to help preserve, protect and enhance the fragile environment and unique cultural heritage of the Park. By leveraging existing federal support with additional private philanthropy, FCCNS engages members, donors and visitors alike in the shared values of cultural appreciation, environmental stewardship and historical preservation.