Coskata-Coatue FAQs

Permits are required year-round, for any vehicles driving onto Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. Permits for April 1, 2022-March 31, 2023 can be purchased online at Your email receipt will include answers to many FAQs, and will also serve as your proof of permit before the gatehouse opens on May 20, 2022.  

Jump to a topic to answer questions about your Coskata-Coatue visit.

Property Conditions
Permit Questions
Rental Questions
Tour Questions
All Wheel Drive (AWD) Questions
Contact Information


How do I find out if the property is open? Call 508.228.5646 #2. This line is updated as conditions change. Environmental conditions necessitate restrictions such as coastal flooding, and shorebird nesting.

If I’m driving onto the property, am I required to deflate my tires? Yes, drivers are required to deflate to 12-15 PSI before entering the Refuge. A station to deflate your vehicle tires is located at the gatehouse. Air hoses for reinflating tires are on the right side of the road, after passing the gatehouse on your left.


I have a last season permit that says ‘22’, can I go onto the refuge? Last season’s permits expire on March 31, 2022. New permits for April 1, 2022-March 31, 2023 are available for sale online beginning January 24, 2022 at

It says the gatehouse opens May 20, how can I get my permit if I am coming before then? When you have purchased your permit online you will receive an emailed receipt, will include many answers to FAQs, and will also serve as your permit before the gatehouse opens. 

When does the gatehouse open? The gatehouse will be open May 20, 2022 for the season. Gatehouse hours are 9AM-5PM September and October; and open 9AM-6PM July and August. Refuge hours are 9AM-sunset (Active surfcasters excepted).

Do I need a permit? How do I get my permit? Permits are required year-round for all visitors driving onto the Refuge. Permits are available for online purchase only, and will be available beginning January 24, 2022 on  Your email receipt will include many answers to FAQs, and will also serve as your permit before the gatehouse opens on May 20, 2022.

I’ve made a mistake and purchased 2 permits for the same vehicle, how do I get a refund? Please forward your email receipt to and you will be given a refund for the additional purchase. 

What paperwork do I need to bring to the gatehouse? Once you purchase your permit online, your vehicle information will be on our database at the gatehouse within 24 hours. No additional paperwork is necessary. 

What if I am changing my vehicles due to purchase, lease or other transfer after I purchase the OSV permit? We will replace a permit if your current registration is transferred to another vehicle. To do so, please bring both original permit stickers (from the front and back vehicle bumpers) to the gatehouse in order to be reissued a permit for the new vehicle. There may be some paperwork involved. Email for more information.

What if I don’t have my vehicle on island and want the permits? If you don’t have your vehicle, you won’t be able to drive out onto the Refuge. Permits will not be distributed without the vehicle present. 

I am having a problem completing the online registration form.  Please ensure your computer is not blocking pop-ups, and confirm that you have a 4×4 vehicle, not an all wheel drive (AWD) vehicle. AWD vehicles are not allowed on the Refuge, and the order will not process if this type of vehicle is listed. Also be sure that the “shipping address” (note:  we don’t ship permits) is your credit card billing address, the zip code is important. Click here for more information about AWD vehicles.


I am renting a vehicle, how do I get my pass? Island rental car company will have the instructions available, and you can get your pass at their counter.  Passes are also available at the Wauwinet Gatehouse, which opens for the season on May 20, 2022. Make sure you confirm your rental vehicle is not an All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicle, and has the permit that says ‘COSKATA-COATUE WILDLIFE REFUGE.’

Are there fees to drive onto the Refuge in a rental vehicle? A day use fee is $50 for all rental vehicles. Please note that rental vehicles must also have a permit that says ‘COSKATA-COATUE WILDLIFE REFUGE,’ affixed by the rental company. If renting a vehicle for more than one day, any additional day is $10 per day. This can be purchased at the gatehouse, or pre-purchased through the rental car company on request.

How do I obtain a permit for the vehicle I own and rent out? Please contact the manager directly (


Will you be doing tours this year? Yes! We will be offering tours on a limited basis during the 2022 season. Please click here to learn more and make a reservation. Email or call 508-228-6799, #4 for more information.

All Wheel Drive (AWD) Vehicle Questions

All-Wheel Drive (“AWD”) vehicles are not permitted on Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge (“CCWR”), Coatue Wildlife Refuge and The Haulover, and the Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge (Great Point), as they are not designed for the challenging driving conditions on the Refuge, including soft sand and rutted ground. AWD vehicles have a lower undercarriage, and the tires do not move in tandem. Additionally, due to a “low profile” design, the tires cannot be safely deflated. Limited assistance is available for towing AWD vehicles that become stuck on the property. Below, please find FAQs regarding AWD vehicles:

Why can’t I take my AWD out at my own risk? This rule must be enforced in order to provide the safest and best experience possible for all of our visitors. 

What if I rented an AWD vehicle and was told I had a “Beach Sticker”? AWD rental vehicles do not have a sticker for the Refuge. Please return to your rental agent and ask for a 4×4 vehicle for driving onto the Refuge. 

Can I purchase a sticker for my Subaru AWD vehicle? No, AWD vehicles are not allowed on the property. 

If I already had a sticker on my AWD vehicle, may I purchase a sticker for the same vehicle? This is a grandfathered use, and the exact same vehicle can obtain a current sticker.  

My question isn’t listed here, how do I get more information? If you have any further questions regarding the operation of AWD vehicles on the Refuge, please email or call 508.228.5646 #7.


For Refuge questions please contact the manager by emailing

For Refuge tour information please email or call 508-228-6799, #4. 

For general Trustees Membership questions, email: 

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