Nomans Land Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is 628 acres in size and is located in Dukes County, 3 miles south of Martha's Vineyard, MA. The Island is 1.6 miles long east to west, and about 1 mile north to south. Nomans Land Island was used for aerial gunnery by the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1996. The USFWS managed an "overlay" Refuge on the eastern third of the Island under a Joint Management Agreement between the Department of the Interior and Department of the Navy since 1975. Following an extensive surface clearance of ordnance in 1997 and 1998, the Island was transferred to the USFWS to become Nomans Land Island National Wildlife Refuge. It was established " . . . for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds" (Migratory Bird Conservation Act). Nomans Land Island is surrounded entirely by the Atlantic Ocean. About 30% of the island is comprised of wetlands which range from emergent marshes to permanently flooded-open water. There are four artificial ponds (that were impounded many years ago by early settlers), two large freshwater ponds, and a number of smaller ponds dot the Island. Common wetland plants include: Virginia chain fern, cranberry, sphagnum moss, broad-leaved cattail, and common reed.
Due to the potential safety risks associated with unexploded ordnance, and the value of this Island as a relatively natural Island habitat, the Refuge is closed to all public uses. Information about the Refuge can be obtained by contacting the headquarters office in Sudbury, MA at 978-443-4661.
c/o Eastern MA NWR Complex 73 Weir Hill Road Sudbury, MA 1776
FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service