Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to Bret Stearns, natural resources director for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah):

The town of Aquinnah would like to thank you and members of the tribe’s natural resources department for all the hard work you did protecting Aquinnah’s natural resources during the grounding of the lobster boat Sherry Ann July 10 out by Squibnocket Point. Your effective assistance with Coast Guard, local police, firefighters and other state officials was instrumental in keeping the incident from escalating into an environmental disaster. When the decision was made to utilize Bill Bennett’s Umabog truck to transport the pumped-out diesel fuel from the beach, you made a point of contacting our town administrator so that town officials could be apprised of the situation.

It is much appreciated and duly noted that you made a big commitment to making sure everything was taken care of during the incident. Getting through the four-day event was a lengthy process and you accomplished all the tasks necessary to make it a safe one for our community’s natural resources. Thanks all around for a job well done.

Spencer Booker


Mr. Booker is chairman of the selectmen. The letter is also signed by selectmen Jim Newman and Beverly Wright.