Graffiti was spray-painted last week onto rocks at Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth, between the Lobster Shack at Two Lights and the Cape Elizabeth Light. The land is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard. Penelope Overton/Staff Writer

Dozens of sky-blue mermaids, self-help mantras and cartoon genitalia have been spray painted on the rocky ledges of Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth, defacing the scenic area between the Lobster Shack at Two Lights and the Cape Elizabeth Light.

The vandalism was reported to police last Saturday. Most of the graffiti appears on the ocean side of the rocks, so it is not easily visible from land. On Friday, most of the selfie-snapping tourists and picnickers who had flocked to Dyer Point to enjoy the sun didn’t even realize the graffiti was there.

The scenic vista is a bit of a “no man’s land,” said Town Manager Matt Sturgis, who was also unaware of the graffiti when contacted by a reporter. But Sturgis wasn’t alone – the managers at the Lobster Shack and nearby Two Lights State Park didn’t know about it, either.

The vandalism – which ranges from such up-with-people tags saying “Love is Love” and “Love Yourself” to the word penis inside a heart – appears to be contained to Dyer Point. Neither Two Lights State Park nor Fort Williams has been tagged so far this year, park employees said.

Many visitors think Dyer Point is an extension of the Lobster Shack’s outdoor dining area, or assume the spit of picturesque metamorphic rock is a satellite of the popular state park down the road, but Sturgis said the defaced rocks are part of a 10-acre lot owned by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The public affairs officer at the Coast Guard’s South Portland installation did not return a phone call on Friday, but the officers who respond to duty calls didn’t know about the vandalism at the Cape Elizabeth property, and couldn’t say if there was a clean-up effort planned.


Cleaning it up won’t be easy. Rafael Adams, a local resident who considers this area his favorite spot in Cape Elizabeth, already has spent a couple hours at Dyer Point this week trying to scrub clean one of the 50 or so defaced rocks, first with a graffiti removal product and then acetone.

“This is going to take a very long time,” said Adams, who likes to paddle board along the Cape Elizabeth shore. “I mean, I’ve spent hours on just one rock, trying to figure out what works. It’s better than it was, but it’s nowhere close to clean.”

Adams said the vandalism was upsetting, and most likely a “graduation prank gone bad” given the number of “2022” tags found among the rocks, but said that he would rather focus on trying to restore the area to its natural state than punishing those who had done it.

If he can pinpoint the right cleanup strategy, Adams said he would probably organize a group of local volunteers to scrub the rocks clean next week – after the weekend crowds that descend on Two Lights go home and there is more room to park and safely work.

Police are investigating the vandalism and have entered pictures of the spray-painted rocks into a graffiti database.

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