Nantucket Beach Erosion | A Disappearing Island
Opponents of the project, like fisherman Josh Eldridge, followed up their sudden victory with both a willingness to help SBPF find a more agreeable solution and some concern over what the group’s idea for a new erosion fix might just be. “[Killing the proposal] is going to help them out with the island right away. They do have a problem,” says Eldridge. “But look, you’re dealing with a lot of old Yankees out here, and so after they withdrew, a morbid dread kind of set in — a feeling of What are they going to do now?”
Just exactly what the ‘Sconset homeowners are going to do is uncertain. Weymar says he hopes that SBPF can help the island create the coastal-zone management plan so that residents can vote on it at next year’s Town Meeting. If that happens, it’s possible, he says, that he and others will have regrouped enough by then to put together a new proposal for combating erosion as well. But they’ll have to contend with the hangover from this most recent defeat first.
“There’s been a lot of talk about working together, and I’m going to take it at face value, but my confidence is marginal that we can find a solution that’s acceptable to everyone,” predicts Weymar. “We didn’t expect this level of opposition. It was too technical, and it got quite emotional — people claiming environmental catastrophe. But I do think we raised the consciousness that erosion is an island-wide problem.”
Around the same time that SBPF was making a move to withdraw its proposal, builders, in a curious display of optimism, were putting the finishing touches on Baxter Road’s newest home, not far from Weymar’s house. Nearby the tide was moving in, and the water was taking aim at its target.
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Read more about Cape Cod’s shifting shoreline and follow a link to historic maps: Nantucket’s Shifting Shoreline