Gay Head 10K Race Registration Opens

gay head 10k route

2014 Gay Head unofficial 10K route

Participate in the 2nd annual Gay Head 10K and enjoy the beauty of fall on the island while supporting efforts to move and restore the Gay Head Lighthouse.  The 10K race was established by the Town of Aquinnah’s Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee to raise money and awareness about the need to move the light away from the eroding cliffs.  The committee plans to make the 10K an annual event and once the light is relocated, the race will provide on-going support for the maintenance costs. For more details about the race, please click here.

Registration is now open! Please click the button below:

Why not make a weekend of it on the island? Cycle Martha’s Vineyard is an organized recreational bicycle ride on Martha’s Vineyard, on Saturday, October 4.  Two rides are being offered, a 50K and 100K.  The 50K ride has spectacular views of Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.  The 100K ride visits the entire island, included the Gay Head Cliffs at Aquinnah.  There will be organized rest stops along the route as well as road support.  A post-ride pig roast with live music will also be held.  Proceeds from the ride benefit Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard and the Gay Head Light. Click button below to register.CycleMVLOGO-FINALnodates



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Help Save the Gay Head Lighthouse!

Gay Head Lighthouse at sunset

The Gay Head Lighthouse, an island treasure with a long and rich history, is at risk. Standing just 46 feet (Aug ’13) from an eroding cliff, it was recently designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and geological experts advise it should be moved within the next year.

The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee needs your support in helping us save this iconic structure and working navigational beacon, which has been shining out from the picturesque cliffs of the western most tip of Martha’s Vineyard since 1856.  The light has guided mariners and fishermen from all over the globe safely past the cliffs of Gay Head and the Devil’s Bridge below. Its red and white sweeping beam connects us to this place and the sea beyond.

Your donation will help fund the move and restoration of the Gay Head Lighthouse to a location and condition that will sustain it for many generations. The fundraising goal for this project is $3,000,000.  Donations of any amount are important and greatly appreciated. A special fund has been established exclusively for this project through the Town of Aquinnah and all gifts are tax-deductible. We are racing against time.

With your help, the Gay Head Light will KEEP ON SHINING! Click here to find out more.

Photograph by Katherine Gendreau Photography

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Poets Launch Work Celebrating Gay Head Light


“Legacy of Light” will raise funds for lighthouse relocation

The Save the Gay Head Light House Committee, in conjunction with the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing and the Martha’s Vineyard Poetry Society, today announced the release of “Legacy of Light: Poems for the Gay Head Lighthouse,” a collection of poems submitted by both Vineyard and off-island writers to celebrate the historic Gay Head Lighthouse. The writers join a chorus of supporters raising funds and awareness to restore and relocate the lighthouse from its current location where it is endangered by eroding cliffs.

The committee will also be hosting a reading of the collection on Wednesday, August 27 at 5:30 p.m. at The Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Readers will include Annette Sandrock, Arnie Reisman, Brooks Robards, Chris Legge, Cynthia Riggs, Ellie Bates, Fan Ogilvie, Lynne Whiting, Justen Ahren, Paula Lyons, Richard Weiss, Steve Ewing, Susan Puciul, Valerie Sonnenthal and William Waterway.

The book was edited by Alexander Weinstein, Keith Leonard and Fan Ogilvie. “Legacy of Light” is available in a limited edition hand-printed and hand-bound edition of 50 volumes in addition to a digitally printed soft cover version. All proceeds from sales of both will go toward funding the lighthouse relocation.

The reading will feature refreshments and an opportunity to purchase both editions of “Legacy of Light”. The limited edition will be available at the Gay Head Gallery and through orders placed on The digital , commercially bound edition will be available at Midnight Farm in Vineyard Haven.

The Gay Head Gallery will also be displaying artwork inspired by the Gay Head Lighthouse and its predicament. A portion of the proceeds of sales of that

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Gay Head Lighthouse on the Brink

Gay Head Lighthouse on the brink    YouTube

Full Circle for the Gay Head Light: Success and a New Record!

On Saturday, Aug. 9, Edgartown resident Dana Gaines completed the full 52 miles around the island by kayak, raising money for the lighthouse project along the way. You can read his account of the day by clicking here.

Gay Head Lighthouse early light Dana at dawn Gay Head cliffs at sunrise Dana Silhouette East toward Sunrise Off Squibnocket Lunch at East Beach Mitzi Pratt aboard Juno Dana and the 12-meter regatta off Edgartown 12-meter yachts Heavy chop near West Chop light Snack bar break Nearing Gay Head Light At the finish line beneath Gay Head Aquinnah Cliffs Tired but happy Success! New record Dana Gaines and Len Butler Meg Bodnar, Mitzi Pratt, Dana Gaines, Len Butler Dana and the Gay Head Light Other visitors to the overlook Go Dana!

Live from the kayak: Dana's Paddle Around Martha's Vineyard

Scroll down to read the day’s tweets as Dana paddled 52 miles around Martha’s Vineyard!


Dana Gaines: Person of the Week

Circumnavigation route by kayak

Dana Gaines will kayak 52 miles around the island on Aug. 9

Dana Gaines, who will kayak the full 52 miles around Martha’s Vineyard tomorrow, Aug. 9, to raise money for the lighthouse relocation, was WMVY Radio’s Person of the Week. Click here to support Dana’s effort. To hear the interview, click the orange Play button below:

Circumnavigation route by kayak



Saving an Iconic New England Lighthouse from Climate Change and Coastal Erosion

The Gay Head Light on the eroding clay cliffs of Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard. Photo: Adam Markham

By Adam Markham, director, Climate Impacts Initiative, Union of Concerned Scientists

The Gay Head Light on the eroding clay cliffs of Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard. Photo: Adam Markham

In summers past I’ve spent many delightful hours on the beach south of Gay Head Cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard, but until this year, I’d never given any thought to the threat climate change represents to the iconic lighthouse that’s perched on top of the cliffs.However, this past winter, whilst researching a UCS report about climate threats to cultural heritage sites I discovered that the National Trust for Historic Preservation had listed the Gay Head Light as one of America’s most endangered historic places. Gay Head’s famous clay cliffs are rapidly eroding, sped by accelerating sea level rise. The lighthouse is now less than 50 feet from the edge. Experts say it needs to be moved back from the brink within the next two years or it will simply topple into the sea.

An island’s dynamic relationship with the sea

The coast of Martha’s Vineyard, with its exposed bluffs, barrier beaches and ponds has always been in a dynamic relationship with the sea, but the changes that human-driven climate change are bringing have no parallel in the recent past. Global average sea level has risen about 8 inches between 1880 and 2009, while the rate of increase has markedly increased, especially since 1993, and is still accelerating. Due to a variety of local factors, the stretch of the East coast of the United States from

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Kayaking for a Cause Helps Raise Money for Lighthouse - MV Gazette

Dana Gaines will kayak around the perimeter of Island for the Gay Head Light.

Dana Gaines will kayak around the perimeter of Island for the Gay Head Light.

Dana Gaines doesn’t just talk the talk, or even walk the walk when he says he wants to save the Gay Head Lighthouse. He heads to the sea.

On August 9 Mr. Gaines plans to kayak around the entirety of the Vineyard, weather permitting, to raise money for the relocation efforts of the lighthouse.

Mr. Gaines has circled the Island once before with two friends. He is also no stranger to kayaking for a cause, having recently raised $18,000 for diabetes research by paddling to Nantucket.

The course Mr. Gaines is taking this time around is shorter, but more difficult. His biggest concern is the wind.

“I’m going to have to paddle into the wind the last third of it at least, when I’m most tired,” he said. “So even though it’s three miles shorter, it’s going to be a harder course.” Still, he plans on trying to beat his last time.

Along with the wind, Mr. Gaines will be battling low blood sugar, as he is a type 1 diabetic. He will carry 180 ounces of a Gatorade-water mix, and will be drinking it every half hour. Grudgingly, he admits he will most likely have to stop on land at some point during the trip in order to stretch, eat solid food and check his insulin levels.

Mr. Gaines is using Indiegogo, an online fundraising website, to reach his goal of $20,000 raised for the lighthouse relocation. He hopes to reach as broad an audience as possible.

Continue reading Kayaking for a Cause Helps Raise Money for Lighthouse – MV Gazette

Vineyarders want to relocate historic lighthouse– Boston Globe

By Peter Schworm | GLOBE STAFF JULY 16, 2014

For more than 150 years, Gay Head Light has stood high atop the cliffs of Martha’s Vineyard, its guiding light sweeping out to sea. But time has steadily chipped away the clay bluffs, threatening to send the iconic landmark to a watery demise.

Now, residents are racing against the clock to save the historic lighthouse, seeking to move the 400-ton structure to safer ground.

On Tuesday, selectmen in the town of Aquinnah approved a new location 150 feet away, a meadow that would allow the lighthouse to retain its current height. A group working to preserve the 1856 lighthouse has raised more than half of the $3 million needed, bolstered by contributions from the island’s six towns.

“It’s a shared heritage for all of us,” said Len Butler of the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse committee.

The money will also finance an extensive renovation of the lighthouse.

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