Portal:Cape Cod and the Islands

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The Cape Cod and the Islands Portal

A map of Cape Cod and the Islands in relation to other landforms in Massachusetts

Cape Cod, often referred to locally as simply the Cape, is a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States. Today it is co-extensive with Barnstable County, and is defined by the towns along the Cape Cod Canal, and those to the east on the peninsula all the way to Provincetown. Several small islands right off Cape Cod, including Monomoy Island, Monomoscoy Island, Popponesset Island, and Seconsett Island, are also in Barnstable County, being part of municipalities with land on the Cape. The Cape's historic and maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.

Cape Cod was formed as the recessional moraine of a glacier, resulting in a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1914, the Cape Cod Canal was cut through the base or isthmus of the peninsula, forming what may be loosely described as an island. The Cape Cod Commission refers to the resultant landmass as an island; as does the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in regards to disaster preparedness.[1]

Cape Cod is one of the biggest barrier islands in the world, shielding much of the Massachusetts coastline from North Atlantic storm waves. This protection erodes the Cape's shoreline at the expense of cliffs, while protecting towns from Fairhaven to Marshfield.

Road vehicles from the mainland cross over the Cape Cod Canal via the Sagamore Bridge and the Bourne Bridge. The two bridges are parallel some four miles apart, with the Bourne Bridge to the west, and the Sagamore to the east. In addition, the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge carries railway freight as well as passenger services.

The Islands is the collective name for the set of large islands south of Cape Cod in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Massachusetts: Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and the Elizabeth Islands, and a small number of minor islands. The Islands are the location of numerous beach resorts, celebrity second homes, and preserved buildings dating back to the whaling era.

Selected article

A female North Atlantic right whale with her calf
Right whales are three species of large baleen whales of the genus Eubalaena: the North Atlantic right whale (E. glacialis), the North Pacific right whale (E. japonica) and the southern right whale (E. australis). Their closest relative is the bowhead whale (genus Balaena), which together with the right whales, comprise the family Balaenidae . Right whales have rotund bodies with arching rostrums, V-shaped blowholes and dark gray or black skin. The most distinguishing feature of a right whale is the rough patches of skin on its head which appear white due to parasitism by whale lice. Right whales can grow up to 18 m (59 ft) long and weigh up to 100 short tons (91 t; 89 long tons), significantly larger than humpbacks or grays, but smaller than blues.

Because of their docile nature, their slow surface-skimming feeding behaviors, their tendencies to stay close to the coast, and their high blubber content (which makes them float when they are killed, and which produced high yields of whale oil), right whales were once a preferred target for whalers, who reportedly considered them the "right" whales to hunt. Today, the North Atlantic and North Pacific right whales are among the most endangered whales in the world, and both species are protected in the United States by the Endangered Species Act. The western populations of both are currently endangered, with their total populations numbering in the hundreds. The eastern North Pacific population, on the other hand, with less than 50 individuals remaining, is critically endangered – further still, the eastern North Atlantic population, which numbers in the low teens at best, may already be functionally extinct. Although no longer facing a threat from whaling, mankind remains by far the greatest threat to these species: the two leading causes of death are from being struck by ships, and from entanglement in fishing gear. Regarding the North Atlantic right whale, for example, these two anthropogenic factors alone account for 48% of all known right whale deaths since 1970.

Selected location

The Sandwich Boardwalk
Sandwich is a town in Barnstable County. Sandwich was first settled in 1637 by a group from Saugus with the permission of Plymouth Colony. It is named for the seaport of Sandwich, Kent, England. It is the oldest incorporated town on Cape Cod. The western portion of the town was separated from the original "Town of Sandwich," and it became the town of Bourne, in 1884.

There are many historic homes in Sandwich, including the Benjamin Nye Homestead, on Old County Road (formerly known as the original "Old King's Highway"), the Benjamin Holway House, built in 1789, at 379 Route 6A, which property also now currently hosts one of the original Nye Homestead structures, built in 1698, believed to have originally served as either a tavern or a shop, and which is now used as a law office.

Sandwich was the site of an early Quaker settlement. However, the settlement was not well-received, as their beliefs clashed with those of the Puritans who founded the town. Many Quakers left the town, either for further settlements along the Cape, or elsewhere, including places like Dartmouth. Early industry revolved around agriculture, with fishing and trading also providing for the town. Later, the town grew a small industrial component along the Scusset River and Old Harbor Creek and its tributaries. Today, most of its industry revolves around tourism. Additionally, Deming Jarves founded the Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory in 1825.

There are several attractions in Sandwich, including Heritage Museums and Gardens, the Wing Fort House, the Sandwich Glass Museum, the Thornton Burgess Museum, Hoxie House (the oldest house on Cape Cod), the Dan'l Webster Inn, and the Dexter Grist Mill, the oldest on Cape Cod, and Shawme Lake. The Sandwich town boardwalk is also popular for tourists. The walkway was destroyed by Hurricane Bob in 1991, but was rebuilt via private donations. It is also home to a major portion of Otis Air National Guard Base, including half the land the runways are on.


Did you know

Argo Merchant run aground.jpg

Selected picture

A view of Harwich Town Hall in Harwich. The building itself was originally constructed in 1912 to hold the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank and the Harwich National Bank. Depositors for the former would enter the front door and turn left while those going to the latter would turn right. This configuration was also used by the bank branches at a dual location in Harwich Port.
Credit: T.S. Custadio

A view of Harwich Town Hall in Harwich. The building itself was originally constructed in 1912 to hold the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank and the Harwich National Bank. Depositors for the former would enter the front door and turn left while those going to the latter would turn right. This configuration was also used by the bank branches at a dual location in Harwich Port.

Selected biography

Ben Affleck (born Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt; August 15, 1972) is an American actor, film director, writer, and producer. He became known in the mid 1990s after his involvement in the film Mallrats (1995), and later played the lead role in Chasing Amy in 1997. Affleck has since become an Academy Award winner for his screenplay in Good Will Hunting in 1997. He has established himself as a Hollywood leading man, having starred in several big budget films, such as Armageddon (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), Changing Lanes (2002), The Sum of All Fears (2002) and Daredevil (2003). He has collaborated a few times with his younger brother, actor Casey Affleck.

After a high profile relationship with actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998, his relationship with actress/singer Jennifer Lopez attracted worldwide media attention in which Affleck and Lopez were dubbed as "Bennifer." Following their breakup in 2004, he began dating Jennifer Garner. The two married in June 2005 and have two daughters, Violet, born December 2005 and Seraphina, born January 2009. Affleck has been actively involved in politics, along with a non-profit organization called the A-T Children's Project.

Region facts

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As of 26 November 2014, there are 10 featured and 19 good articles within WikiProject Cape Cod and the Islands scope. This makes up 0.03% of the articles on Wikipedia, 0.14% of all featured articles and lists, and 0.09% of all good articles. Including non-article pages, such as talk pages, redirects, categories, etcetera, there are 2,650 pages in the project.

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  1. ^ Cape Cod Commission. "Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)". Retrieved May 17, 2020.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)