Spring Gale Roars Through Island, Norton Point Is Breached

A powerful spring storm that inundated the entire East Coast pounded the Vineyard south shore with heavy seas this week, marrying with extreme tides to carve a substantial breach through Norton Point Beach at Katama at the extreme southeastern end of Edgartown.

The event leaves Chappaquiddick a true island for the first time in more than a quarter-century.

Plovers Abound, Stripers Are In: Katama Breach Boosts Ecology

The forces which punched a hole in Norton Point and opened Edgartown harbor to the Atlantic Ocean might present a headache for town officials, but from an ecological viewpoint, they have all the benefits of a big natural spring cleaning.

Land Ho! Island Forms in Wake of Storms

First there was one opening and now there are two at Norton Point Beach.

The second, closer to the Chappaquiddick side, occurred on the weekend of March 8 and 9 during the height of a windy storm.

Between the two openings, there is a 150-yard little island. It already has the name Charlie’s Island.

“You’ve heard of Gilligan’s Island. This is Charlie’s Island,” said Chris Kennedy of The Trustees of Reservations.

News Update: Saturday, July 16 - Norton Point Beach Opens to Oversand Vehicles

All of Norton Point Beach, on the Edgartown side, has been reopened for oversand vehicle access, The Trustees of Reservations announced Saturday. The piping plover chicks which had been using the eastern end of the beach for feeding have successfully fledged, so under state shorebird guidelines vehicle access is allowed again to this beach.

The Edgartown side of Norton Point Beach stretches for two miles from Left Fork to the Breach in Norton Point.

Swimming in the breach on either the Chappaquiddick or Edgartown side remains strictly prohibited.

Breach Narrows At Norton Point, May Close This Year

The Norton Point Beach breach may close as early as this year, an event that would bring to an end a dramatic, five-year phenomenon that has eaten away large chunks of the southeastern corner of Chappaquiddick, according to a top regional expert in coastal erosion.

Norton Point Breach May Close, Good News for Small Boaters

With growing evidence the Norton Point breach is appearing to close — lessening the current running through the harbor—there is buzz on the waterfront that the summer ahead will be easier for a lot of visiting boaters, particularly the local fleet of day sailboats.