It was the signage along Cromesett Rd in Wareham reading simply “Wildlife Sanctuary” that helped convince my husband and I to buy a small cottage at Mark’s Cove three years ago. “Somebody cares” I said, pleased to know that open space along the Cove was valued. The ritual of early Sunday morning walks through trails over to the beach at low tide, respectful of nesting birds and established walkways through the marshland is a constant for us, a spiritual and very peaceful retreat of sorts as we watch the sun rise and listen to church bells in the distance. We marvel at the views of Buzzards Bay, the boats and birds gliding over and through the waters and later tell our friends that we have million dollar views rivaling anything we’ve been lucky enough to see along Canadian and European coastlines.
In addition to being mindful of nesting birds, we are also mindful that opportunities to enjoy this Sanctuary didn’t just happen. Open, protected spaces such as this one at Mark’s Cove require effort, money, long hours put in by many volunteers, good legal advice, determination, and generosity to come into being.
This wildlife sanctuary that I have come to love resulted from a series of parcel acquisitions over several years by the Mass. Audubon Society, the Wildlands Trust of Southeastern Mass, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the Town of Wareham, and the Wareham Land Trust. The final parcel, obtained in 2008 by the Wareham Land Trust completed a 100 acre contiguous corridor providing habitat protection for woodland and marine species as well as acquifer protection.
Basically what this means is that no one can build a structure, or destroy existing vegetation, or discharge waste waters, or otherwise change this pristine 100 acre corridor. And what that means is that ospreys, oystercatchers and many other birds can build nests to raise their young. Marine organisms like shellfish, which need specific salinity levels in the water and specific soil types at the water’s edge to survive, can do so. And what that means is balance- not just the spiritual balance I find when I walk through the sanctuary enjoying the peace and quiet, but a broader environmental equilibrium that comes with protecting ecosystems from human-mitigated change.
The volunteer members of the Wareham Land Trust have made it their mission to search out and protect fragile ecosystems through the acquisition of parcels either independently or in cooperation with other dedicated land preservation groups. We welcome your participation as we build a network of protected coastline and woodland properties in Wareham. Come join us!
Karen is a new volunteer with the WLT. Welcome and thank you for your wonderful blog post!