Natural Resources Department oversees the management & maintenance of three public beaches: Norton Point Beach in Edgartown (254 acres), Eastville Beach in Oak Bluffs & Tisbury (5 acres), and Joseph Sylvia State Beach in Edgartown & Oak Bluffs (104 acres). Each of these beaches are managed for multiple use, balancing public access and recreation with the protection of the natural resources on the beach.
More information about these three beaches are available through the following links.
Other links related to these three beaches are on the left side of this page. These links are for the rules and regulations adopted by The County Commissioners for these beaches, information about how you can purchase an Oversand Vehicle Permit for Norton Point Beach, and information about holding a private beach party on these beaches.
Other properties that are open to the public are listed under two links on the left side: Martha's Vineyard Beaches and Hiking Trails.
One of the resources most in need of protection are the nesting shorebirds. Three species are of particular interest - the Federally Threatened piping plover, the State Species of Special Concern least tern and the American oystercatcher. For more information about these species, please use the Nesting Shorebirds link on the left side of the page.
Many different species of whales, seals and dolphins may appear on our beaches. If you find one of these animals on any Island beach, please leave it alone and call the New England Aquarium's 24-hour Marine Animal Rescue Hotline: (617) 973-5247. Please remember that most (but not all) of the seals on our beaches are healthy. For more information click on the link on the left side of the page.
The annual Christmas Bird Count is held in late December or early January. This fun one day event involves from 50 to 70 observers counting every individual of every species they can find. Use the Christmas Bird Count link to find more information about what the Count is and to access summaries of the three most recent counts.