Nantucket Coastal Conservancy ask selectmen to obey ConCom denial and remove geotubes

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Nantucket Coastal Conservancy ask selectmen to obey ConCom denial and remove geotubes
Geotube in place with piles of sand dumped over the edge of the bank .

The following letter from the Nantucket Coastal Conservancy was sent to the Board of Selectmen, appears on the selectmen's page of the town web site and is a letter to the editor in the June 5, 2014 issue of the Inquirer & Mirror:

 June 4, 2014

The Board of Selectmen

Town of Nantucket

Nantucket MA 02554

Dear Members of the Board:

After seven months of hearings, Nantucket’s Conservation Commission, our regulatory body charged

with upholding both the local Wetlands Bylaw and the State Wetlands Protection Act, has determined

that the geotube coastal engineering structure installed below the bluff in Sconset does not meet the

performance standards of either law. Specifically, the Commission found, by a vote of 4-to-2, that the

project will have adverse environmental impacts and that there are, in fact, reasonable alternatives that

will cause less harm.

The process has been a long and arduous one. The Commissioners, volunteers all, have distinguished

themselves by their fairness, their painstaking thoroughness, their thoughtfulness and their careful

consideration of the proposal before them.

Some are, understandably, disappointed with the outcome. However, we look to you, our highest elected

officials, to, first and foremost, abide by the decision of the ConCom.

Further, we respectfully request that you act expeditiously and decisively to: one, have the geotubes

removed; two, secure alternative access to the structures located on northern Baxter Road should the

roadway be breached: and three, exercise the leadership needed to bring our fractured community


It should be noted that should a real emergency occur, you have adopted an Emergency Plan

recommended by your Emergency Management Coordinator and Department of Public Works Head that

would, among other things, relocate Baxter Road landward within the current road layout, providing

additional time to secure alternative access.

As we become more informed about erosion and the ways to adapt to it in an era of rising sea level, we

are confident that working together we can develop resiliency strategies that balance, on one hand, the

need to provide protection for coastal development and infrastructure and, on the other, preserve our

island’s coastal environmental resources, especially natural beaches.

We commit to working with you and with members of our community, on both the local and regional

levels, to find a way forward that achieves the delicate balance we all seek and, most important, is

consistent with the legacy of environmental stewardship we have inherited from those who have come

before us.


D. Anne Atherton

Peter Brace

John Merson

Linda Spery

Liz Trillos

Charley Walters

Mary Wawro

for the NCC Coordinating Team

COPY: The Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror

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