The Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission was first authorized in 1961. The purpose of the commission is to consult with the Secretary of the Interior, or his/her designee, about matters relating to the development of Cape Cod National Seashore and specific sections of the Act establishing the seashore. Commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and represent the six towns within the seashore boundary, plus Barnstable County, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Secretary of the Interior.
The commission meets regularly with the park superintendent to discuss specific seashore issues and to remain knowledgeable about seashore programs, facilities, activities, and issues. As indicated by its name, the commission is advisory in nature. Some standing committees are in place to analyze park issues, seek public input, and make recommendations to the superintendent. In dealing with a particularly complex or controversial issue, the park superintendent will occasionally ask the commission to explore the many sides of an issue, and develop and present a report which the superintendent will consider in making a decision. Most recently, the commission presented recommendations about the use of personal water craft within the boundary of the national seashore, off-road vehicle use, the General Management Plan, and future use and management of the Dune Shacks of the Peaked Hill Bars Historic District.