Gay Head Cliffs

Dredging and More: Public Works Projects Abound on Island

From massive dredging and beach renourishment in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown to renovations at the Gay Head Cliffs overlook, a number of public works improvement projects are under way around the Island this winter.

Makeover Begins for Area Around Gay Head Cliffs

This fall and winter, Aquinnah will undertake a nearly $220,000 improvement project at the Gay Head Cliffs, a designated national landmark with one of the most stunning views on the Island.

At Gay Head Cliffs, Ancient Glacial Story Retold

Excavation around the Gay Head Light has revealed never before seen geologic layers that may shed light on how and when the landscape was created.

Day One for Gay Head Light Move: 1856 Brick Tower Travels 52 Feet

Just before noon on Thursday the Gay Head Light departed the spot where it has stood for 159 years. The Island's oldest lighthouse headed for its new home about 175 feet from the eroding Gay Head cliffs.

Cold Winds, Warm Memories at Gay Head Guided Walk

Cold winds deterred some but not all as VCS led a guided walk at the Gay Head Cliffs on Saturday. The location was significant as VCS celebrates it’s 50th anniversary this year, and was instrumental in creating national landmark status for the cliffs in 1965.

Trapped Groundwater Hastens Erosion at Gay Head Cliffs

As rapid erosion continues to threaten the Gay Head Light, a possible solution emerged this week to help mitigate the situation as the town embarks on a complicated, longer-term project to move the lighthouse.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Declares Gay Head Light Endangered

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced in a ceremony at the Gay Head Cliffs Wednesday morning that it had named the Gay Head Light to its 2013 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Sweeping Light Will Remain at Gay Head Beacon

The U.S. Coast Guard has abandoned plans to modernize the optic at the Gay Head Light and will instead maintain the current sweeping beam.

Lieut. Matthew Stuck of the Coast Guard aids to navigation branch said Monday that the Coast Guard has found a replacement optic for the current aging lens at the light. The replacement will likely happen sometime in the next few months.

“We plan to acquire the replacement and install it for the failing rotating beacon,” Mr. Stuck said. “Our hope is to maintain it for the indefinite future.”

Gay Head Lighthouse beach cliffs

Land Bank Adds to Aquinnah Headlands

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank added a small but significant piece of land to its holdings at the scenic Gay Head Cliffs this week with the purchase of a single acre near the historic clay cliffs in the westernmost reaches of the Vineyard. The seller was the Vineyard Open Land Foundation. The purchase price was $225,000.

Moshup’s Treasure Needs Protection

The Legend of Moshup is an ancient creation story from the Wampanoag oral tradition. It tells of the giant Moshup, the personification of the immense forces of nature, deciding to settle here after a long journey, and dragging his foot to separate Martha’s Vineyard from the mainland and plow up the Cliffs of Gay Head. Scraps from his dinner table are the fossilized bones and teeth of ancient life forms found there.

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