January 2023

Sustainability on Nantucket

The Town of Nantucket has numerous sustainability related initiatives underway. Coastal resilience and planning for sea level rise are methods of working toward sustainable communities with a view to sustainable waterfronts, downtown area and alleviating flooding and erosion problems around the island. Energy management is another arm of sustainability and this encompasses everything from daily energy usage to understanding how we as a community can reduce our carbon footprint. Good water quality in the harbors and great ponds is essential to have sustainable habitats for fisheries, shellfisheries and our near pristine aquatic habitats. An equitable housing stock is critical for a sustainable year round population to maintain and enhance our diverse community. Environmental justice is also a developing field that needs to be understood in the context of sustainability. 

With all this in mind, we need to pull together and find a coherent path forward for all of our sustainable projects currently underway and to be developed in the coming years. To that end, we need to understand some sustainability principles to work within. In essence, there are three pillars to sustainability: Environmental, Social and Economic. 

To build on these three pillars and the existing and future sustainability related projects, the Town has created a new Sustainability Programs Manager position to coordinate these efforts. Sustainability is a goal of the Select Board and in February 2020 the Town completed a sustainability study. Covid-19 hit in March 2020 and derailed these efforts. This is now getting back on track. To that end, community feedback and involvement will be crucial. Please send any thoughts or comments on sustainability and desired outcomes to vmurphy@nantucket-ma.gov or email to arrange a meeting.

Vince Murphy, Sustainability Programs Manager


Making Island Resources A Collaborative Local Effort for Substantiality 


Image from SNC Lavalin.