Nantucket Coastal Conservancy is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 and composed of year-round islanders and seasonal residents, as well as visitors, whose common interest is to preserve and protect Nantucket’s natural beaches.
Our team — and our growing number of supporters — represent the broad island community: young and old, year-round and seasonal residents, environmental professionals, swimmers, surfers, fishermen, walkers, politicians, writers, photographers, concerned citizens. We are working together to ensure that our community has the knowledge and the ability to protect the beaches we love.
Our advocacy, educational and research activities are guided by an engaged and committed group of volunteers who comprise the NCC Coordinating Team. The team is composed of year-round islanders and summer residents whose common interest is to see the natural beauty of Nantucket preserved and its fragile ecosystems protected.
to protect and preserve Nantucket’s coastal resources through education, research and advocacy, ensuring that future generations have the opportunity to use and enjoy them.
Peter’s life revolves around the world outdoors on Nantucket. All year long, he spends his time hiking, kayaking, berry picking, learning about wildflowers, watching birds, checking out dragonflies and exploring the island’s shoreline with his dog. Being a member of the Nantucket Coastal Conservancy lets his conscience breath easy by fulfilling his need to help protect the precious natural resources of beach, dune and wetlands for all of Nantucket.
Barbara first came to Nantucket in the 1970s. Like so many others, she came to love the island. She has lived here part-time all year since 1992. Barbara joined NCC because she wants to help preserve what is so special about Nantucket. In addition, she is deeply concerned about reactions to erosion and climate change in general, and she wants to make whatever small contribution she can to increasing understanding and encouraging sensible responses to what is happening to the earth.
Sunny has only lived more than a few miles away from a beach for a handful of years. Sunny and her husband moved to Nantucket with their young children in 2004. She is drawn to the island for its history, its natural and architectural beauty, and its culturally diverse and self-reliant residents. Nantucket’s beaches are important and unique assets that support the people who live here. Visitors flock to the island in the summer to enjoy the shopping, the events, the food, and the natural beauty our island offers. Protecting our beaches means protecting a large part of our island’s vitality. Sunny joined the NCC to learn more about erosion issues on the island and about how to protect Nantucket beaches so that future generations can enjoy a natural beach undisturbed by engineered materials.
Susan grew up hiking Nantucket beaches, swimming wherever and whenever she pleased. She is still out every day, all year round, watching, listening, photographing. A favorite trek has always been from Quidnet to the Bluff. In the spring, she watches the swallows nesting in the cliffs. She has gathered fossils in the sand that drifts from the bank, the oldest sand on island. She has watched the nesting plover and newly hatched terns. She has witnessed first hand the effects of climate change, the sand that ebbs and flows. When the beaches cease to exist there will be no plovers, terns or fossils, no treks along the shoreline, no swims in the sea. Then she too shall leave.
Susan recently joined the NCC because of her personal commitment to preserve the natural beauty of our island's beaches. As a biologist, she was naturally drawn to the unspoiled environment of Nantucket in 1977, and she knew that one day she would make this her permanent home. Her daughter and grandchildren love the island as she does; their love of Nantucket makes the need to actively protect our precious commodity very important.
Elizabeth has watched the wave action on the island at various times of year and in all weather conditions. She has also witnessed the failure of several projects designed to stop erosion; many of these failures washed up on our beaches and took months to clean up. Elizabeth feels Mother Nature clearly controls our shores and she would like to work with Nature instead of against her. The NCC is the organization committed to doing just that.
Mary was a seasonal visitor to Nantucket for 20 years before moving here permanently in 2005. She had previously been a municipal lawyer in California, where she had followed efforts to protect the California coast. She served on the Nantucket Conservation Commission and was involved in the original Coalition for Responsible Coastal Management. The single most influential wake-up call for her was Cornelia Dean’s “Against the Tide,” a classic about the issues arising from climate change and coastal erosion. She works with NCC because of its efforts to educate our community about the impacts of coastal erosion and of the various efforts to control it. She recently worked with WPI students on the project that produced the map of existing erosion-control structures that is included on the Resources page of this site.
For a long time, Karen felt that she couldn't contribute to making Nantucket and, more generally, the world better. She thought she didn't have the time or the skills or the knowledge — and that other people were already working on the problems that needed attention. Fortunately, she was convinced to join the Nantucket Coastal Conservancy where a dedicated group of people contribute their individual skills to an important effort. She now wonders how she could possibly NOT be involved in the effort.
D. Anne Atherton Administrative Coordinator
D. Anne is a fourth-generation, New-Jersey-shore girl. Ever since she can remember, beaches were associated for her with jetties and boardwalks and plastic badges and parking meters and ferris wheels and roped-off swimming areas. When her family discovered the miles and miles of Nantucket's open, natural beaches in the early 70s, they were enthralled. Not only were the beaches beautiful, but they were accessible – to everyone. D. Anne’s children have grown up enjoying and respecting Nantucket’s beaches. Her grandchildren are doing the same. D. Anne will do whatever she can to preserve and protect our island's beaches. The Nantucket Coastal Conservancy offers an opportunity to do just that.
Henry Bancel LaFarge
The untimely passing of Bam LaFarge in March of this year was a deep and painful loss, not only for us, but for the entire community. Bam was the best of who we are. He was a wonderful, caring, quirky, forever-curious man with a tremendously good and open heart; he knew no pretension. From preservation carpentry to his daily inspections of the bluff, Bam was a hands-on steward of the history and coastal environment of both Nantucket and Tuckernuck islands. We will be forever grateful for his many contributions as a founding member of our NCC Coordinating Team. He had much to teach us, including good, old-fashioned Yankee common sense.
Most of the photos and videos on our site were taken by local photographers, Susan Landmann, Peter Brace and Greg Hinson. They have done so as volunteers, documenting erosion, erosion-control efforts and the impacts on Nantucket over many, many months, in all seasons. We are indebted to Susan, Peter and Greg for the excellence of their work, for their commitment, and for their unfailing generosity. Thanks to their talents, one picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words. To see more of their work check out the links below.