Under all is the land
“ Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization.”
These are the opening words, the Preamble, to the Realtor’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code .
Under all of us - especially poignant here on Nantucket - is the land.
We have precious little land here on this glorified sandbar, although driving to Sconset seems to take forever! Believe it or not, the island is actually getting smaller. Sea levels are rising, flooding low-lying areas, persistantly erasing stretches of the south shore and the Sconset Bluff, and even re-shaping the western end of the island around Smith's Point and "Esther's Island" which is currently not an island at all, but part of Nantucket! Current estimates, indicate that Nantucket loses approximately 5 - 10 acres of land per year to erosion and rising sea levels. Some stretches of the south shore average 10 - 15 feet of land lost per year.
I have seen maps and plans from the early 1900's which show Madaket Road extending another quarter-mile out from where it ends today!
Does anyone remember when there were houses on what is now the beach of Codfish Park?
Sankaty Light was moved back from the eroding bluff.
Taken to an extreme, it is estimated that coupled with rising seas, climate change, and increasingly intense coastal storms (due mostly to climate change), Nantucket may disappear entirely in 350 years. The island is estimated to be about 10,000 years old. Are we privileged to be enjoying the island's Swan Song?
Click the above link, zoom to Nantucket, and see one example of what will happen to Nantucket as sea levels rise.
http://www.ack.net/smithspoint060412.html .. Timely link from the Inquirer & Mirror ..
http://news.yahoo.com/rising-sea-level-puts-us-atlantic-coast-risk-171554622.html .. another link from Yahoo ..