The Siasconset section runs from the eastern end of Milestone Road north to Sesachacha Pond. Five private structures were identified across 6 separate properties along the coast below Baxter Road. The controversial geotubes that have been put in place by the Siasconset Beach Preservation Fund (SBPF) act as soft structures when covered with sand and hard structures when uncovered. The remaining 4 structures are soft structures located on multiple properties where the homes have been moved farther away from the bluff in the past 10 years. The types of structures in Siasconset include: jute bags, jute mesh, beach grass and sand replenishment. These structures were all installed in the past 5 years, with some even being installed as recently as late-2014. Since these structures were installed so recently they have not been updated or modified, except for sand replenishment. Of these 5 structures, only 4 of the erosion-structure permits were located. The Worcester Polytechnic Institute Report noted that one structure was showing signs of visible accretion of sand but 3 structures were showing signs of erosion already. The remaining structure was being installed the day of the site visit and therefore could not provide any data.
Source: “Evaluating Coastal Erosion Structures, An Interactive Qualifying Project,” December 18, 2014, p. 33. Submitted to the Faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science by Lauren Hunt (Aerospace Engineering 2016), Christopher Sample (Mechanical Engineering 2016) and Kathleen Sullivan (Mechanical Engineering 2016). The full Report is available on this site under Erosion Overview, Resources.
The Siasconset Beach Preservation Fund’s (SBPF) controversial geotube project, installed at the base of the bluff in the northern Baxter Road area, is currently the subject of litigation between SBPF and the Town of Nantucket. The 900-foot hard-armoring project was constructed under a 30-day Emergency Order in the winter of 2013 and 2014. After a seven-month hearing process, the Nantucket Conservation Commission (ConCom) denied permitting for the structure, finding that it would cause adverse impacts and that there are less harmful alternatives. SBPF appealed the decision. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) subsequently issued a Superseding Order of Conditions that, in effect, overruled the local decision. ConCom has, in turn, appealed the action of the DEP. The matter is pending in Superior Court.
For more information about SBPF and erosion in the area of Sconset Bluff and for a timeline of SBPF's erosion-control initiatives, click HERE