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History Press

Plum Island: A Vulnerable Gem

Plum Island: A Vulnerable Gem

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Plum Island, a barrier island off Newburyport, Massachusetts, is facing major challenges. The inhabited northern part of the island has sustained serious coastal erosion, and some homes are in danger of being consumed by the Atlantic.

At the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in the southern sector, federal officials are concerned that climate change might alter the environment and affect the health of birds that depend on the area as part of their migratory journey. Yet the 11-mile island, with one of the most spectacular sand beaches in New England, remains a very popular destination. Houses continue to be built. Thousands visit each summer either as renting tourists or enthusiastic day trippers.

It is the third most visited birdwatching destination in the country. In this book by award-winning journalist Dyke Hendrickson, the history of the island is recounted and plans for improvement are outlined. Offering more than seventy striking color photos, it is a well-researched account of the background and current status of this cherished natural resource.

About the Author | DYKE HENDRICKSON is an author-journalist living in Newburyport, Massachusetts, birthplace of the Coast Guard. Plum Island: A Vulnerable Gem is his seventh book. He is currently a historian with the Merrimack River Watershed Council. He also hosts a weekly podcast titled Life Along the Merrimack, during which he interviews environmentalists and public officials about the health and history of the river and Plum Island. 


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