In 2008, a group of Nantucket citizens became concerned about the harmful impacts of a massive beach-dredging project then being proposed for the eastern end of the island. These islanders — a diverse, grassroots group of fishermen, environmentalists, naturalists, seasonal and year-round residents — joined together and formed the Coalition for Responsible Coastal Management. The immediate purpose of the Coalition was to generate a strong NO vote at the upcoming town election in regard to whether or not Town-owned land should be used for the dredging project at the upcoming Nantucket Town Election and to call for the development of a comprehensive Coastal Management Plan for Nantucket. That effort was overwhelmingly successful.

Since that time, we have learned more about erosion, erosion control and the consequences for Nantucket’s coastal environment. It became evident, in an era of climate change and rising sea levels, and with an increase in proposals for erosion-control projects coming before Nantucket's Conservation Commission, that this issue is going to be a major one for the foreseeable future. We were especially alarmed by the possible adverse consequences “hard” coastal engineering structures — made of wood, steel, rock or geotextile tubes — would have on our coastal environment and our beaches. We understood that one such project begets another and another because of impacts on adjacent properties. 

Natural beaches are an endangered species.
— Dr. Robert Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, a joint venture of Duke and Western Carolina Universities

In the summer of 2012, The Coalition re-grouped with a broader mission and a new name. Our mission? To preserve and protect Nantucket’s coastal resources through education, research and advocacy, ensuring that future generations have the opportunity to use and enjoy them. Our name? 


Nantucket Coastal Conservancy