2nd Annual Forum on Beach Erosion: Strategies for Adaptation in an Era of Rising Sea Levels
to May 9

2nd Annual Forum on Beach Erosion: Strategies for Adaptation in an Era of Rising Sea Levels

Over two sessions, on Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th, the May Forum will provide opinion leaders and citizens from the Cape and Islands with scientific information on the changes taking place in our coastal environment and alternative strategies for adaptation. Both sessions will be followed by an opportunity for question and answers with the speakers. After the Friday session, there will be an informal social hour with cash bar and complimentary bites at the Westmoor. This program is free of charge.



  • Nantucket Civic League
  • Nantucket Coastal Conservancy
  • Nantucket Land Council
  • Madaket Residents Association
  • Maria Mitchell Association
  • Nantucket Town Association
  • UMASS Boston Nantucket Field Station
  • UMASS Boston School for the Environment



Friday, May 8 - "The Big Picture"                                                                                             5:30pm - 7:30pm 

  • Cornelia Dean, former science editor for the The New York Times, author of Against the Tide: The Battle for America's Beaches (1999)
  • Dr. Robert Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, a joint venture of Duke University and Western Carolina University, co-author with Dr. Orrin Pilkey of The Rising Sea (2009)
  • Dr. E. Robert Thieler, research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, based at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
  • Q&A with the speakers followed by an informal social hour at the Westmoor, with cash bar and complimentary bites

Saturday, May 9 - "State Leadership and Local Adaptation Options"                                         10am - Noon 

  • Emily MacKinnon (moderator) is resource ecologist for the Nantucket Land Council, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting Nantucket’s natural world and rural character by holding and enforcing conservation restrictions, commissioning scientific research, monitoring development proposals, engaging in legal proceedings to protect natural resources, and educating the public on local environmental issues.
  • Jim O'Connell is principal, coastal geologist, and coastal-processes specialist with Coastal Advisory Services, an organization that serves both the public and the private sectors and provides technical and regulatory analyses regarding coastal process, coastal erosion, erosion-control, and related topics. He has assisted a wide variety of organizations and has published widely on these topics.
  • Allen Reinhard is chairman of the Nantucket Islands Land Bank. He is also a Water Commissioner on Nantucket and the President of the Nantucket Civic League. He works for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, maintaining and monitoring the Nantucket moors.
  • John Daniels is president of the board of directors of the Maria Mitchell Association. Since last August he has also served as Maria Mitchell’s acting executive director. He and his wife Susan live on Nantucket, where they own and operate the Sherburne Inn, an 8-room B&B.
  • Arthur Gasbarro is a registered professional civil engineer and land surveyor who has practiced exclusively on Nantucket for the past 20 years. He specializes in the design, permitting, and oversight of coastal-stabilization projects. He is also an avid beach and offshore fisherman.
  • Julia Knisel is coastal shoreline and floodplain manager with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, the lead policy and planning agency on coastal and ocean issues within the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. CZM’s mission is to balance the impacts of human activity with the protection of coastal and marine resources.
  • Q&A with the speakers followed by an informal social gathering, location TBD
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NCC Movie Night: Shored Up
7:00 PM19:00

NCC Movie Night: Shored Up

NCC hosts a screening of Ben Kalina's film Shored Up

"Shored Up is a documentary that asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land. What will a rising sea do to our homes, our businesses, and the survival of our communities? Can we afford to pile enough sand on our shores to keep the ocean at bay? In Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, surfers, politicians, scientists and residents are racing to answer these questions.  Beach engineering has been our only approach so far, but is there something else out there to be explored?  Our development of the coastlines put us in a tough predicament, and it’s time to start looking for solutions."

See the trailer here

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