MA - Coastal-resilience plan unveiled: Now comes the hard part

Sept. 30, 2021 - One week after the long-anticipated islandwide coastal resilience plan came out with recommendations for adapting to five to nine feet of rising seas and stronger storms, town officials are wondering how any of those recommendations are going to get off the ground.

"Nantucket is going to have to change if we’re going to adapt to what’s coming,” said Jen Karberg, research program supervisor at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. “We can’t sit back and do nothing. We are going to have to compromise. We’re going to have to decide where to take preparation value over ecological value or aesthetic value.”

The challenge will be how to permit offshore dredging for miles of recommended dune nourishment from Smith’s Point to the airport, the sewer beds and Codfish Park, recommended by the town’s coastal- resilience consultant Arcadis. The challenge is also where the money will come from for the dune nourishment, surge barriers and raised roads, bulkheads and wharves downtown recommended in the plan, and if Town Meeting voters will back large-scale capital requests.

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