Ecology

Ecosystem

Nantucket Sound is a valuable ecosystem that must be preserved. It is home to many different species of wildlife and is central to the Atlantic Flyway – one of the largest migratory bird routes in the world. The region also includes parts of the largest winter habitat for waterfowl on the east coast of the United States.

The Sound sustains a wide variety of marine life, including fish, turtles, and seals. Accordingly, it is a valuable resource from which our local fishermen earn a living and feed consumers with one of nature’s best sources of protein.

Common & Endangered Species

Common eiders, black scoters, and surf scoters congregate in the fall and winter within the shoal waters in the hundreds of thousands. The coast of Nantucket Sound is also a breeding habitat for the piping plover and roseate tern – endangered species.

Land surrounding the Sound serves as a feeding and breeding ground to many different species of birds, including globally significant populations of the federally protected piping plover. The region contains pristine estuaries, extensive shoals, and long stretches of undeveloped coastline. Vast numbers of seabirds and waterfowl congregate on near-shore shoals to breed, nest, feed, and rest, especially during the winter season.

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