Thacher & Straitsmouth Islands Committee


  • 7 pm
  • 3rd Thursday of every month
  • Rockport Police Station
    168 Main Street
    Rockport, MA 01966

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes


  • Syd Wedmore, Chairman
  • Paul Sena, Vice Chairman
  • Gail Zeman, Member
  • Bob Krouse, Member
  • Seth Cutter, Member
  • George Langer, Member
  • Lee Marr, Member
  • Richard Morris, Member
  • Raymond Moss, Member


The Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands Town Committee is a 9-member board appointed by the Board of Selectmen to manage the Town's proprietary interest in the maintenance and use of Thacher Island. The Committee meets on the third Thursday of every month, generally in conjunction with and immediately preceding the Thacher Island Association meeting. Public attendance is encouraged at both organizations' meetings. Monthly TSITC and Thacher Island Association meetings will be held at 7 pm at the Rockport Police Station at 168 Main Street.

Thacher Island Association (TIA)

The TIA is an open membership, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, a support group of over 1,000 members providing financial support, volunteer labor, and management assistance to the Town Committee. Members, donations, and volunteer workers are welcome. For more information, please visit the Thacher Island Association website at

(Mailing Address: P.O. Box 73, Rockport, MA 01966)

Island Jurisdiction

Roughly 28 acres of the 50-acre island (3/4 of a mile off the Town's south shore) were deeded to the Town by the U.S. Coast Guard on July 3, 2001 ending the lease arrangement under which the Town had managed the island since 1976. The Town now owns the South Tower, two keepers' dwellings, the Boat House and landing ramp, the Whistle House, and other small structures. The red flashing beacon atop the South Tower, the solar array that supplies its electricity, and the helipad all remain in control of the Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Branch. The island was awarded National Historic Landmark status by the Department of the Interior largely due to the efforts of the Thacher Island Association.

The northern end of the Island and the North Tower are owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, which is headquartered at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island. Their holdings on the Island are also managed by the Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands Town Committee under an agreement between the Town and the U.S. F&WL Service.

Because the Island is a wildlife sanctuary, no pets are permitted in either jurisdiction.

Public Access

The Town Committee maintains two specially constructed launches to land on the access ramp. They are crewed by volunteer Coast Guard licensed operators for transportation of work crews, materials and visitors. Transportation to the Island on the launch is provided in season for visitors on a space-available basis on scheduled work days, announced scheduled visitor trips, or planned events.

The Island is open to the general public from June 1 through September 1 (while the official keepers are in residence). Private boat owners may land passengers on the ramp with the permission and assistance of the Resident Keeper but must then anchor offshore or use one of the visitor mooring buoys as directed by the keepers. Commercial marine carriers may observe the same procedures. It is always advisable to radio Marine Channel 71 or call ahead to obtain permission to land and to check landing conditions. Allow time for the Keepers who may be engaged in other duties to reach the ramp before attempting to land.

Visitors in small portable vessels (kayaks, canoes, dinghies, etc.) which can be hand carried and stored above the high tide line may be landed on a space available basis. The ramp space is reserved for landings of the Thacher Island Launch and Coast Guard use only.

Because of the highly variable tide and weather conditions, all landings are at the discretion of the Resident Keepers.

The landing ramp is located approximately midway on the west shore in front of the white boathouse and is the only reasonably safe access to the Island. Landing assistance from the keepers is preferable since the ramp may be slippery from sea growth and portable nonskid planks may be required to ascend/descend the ramp on foot. All landings are at your own risk.