Longacre Reflects On Four Years As Chair Of Coastal Resilience Advisory Committee

Mary Longacre •

To the editor: I am extremely proud of the work the Coastal Resilience Advisory Committee has done since being established in 2019. We started by reviewing the current conditions as reported in the “2020 Risk Assessment and Resiliency Strategies” report and various government resources, then worked, in an unprecedented manner, hand in hand with the Coastal Resilience Coordinator to draft the Request for Proposals for the Coastal Resilience Plan. We developed a library of resources on the Town’s website for local reports, state and federal information, and understanding what other communities are doing about coastal resilience.

We created a brochure “Improving Coastal Resilience At Home: A Nantucket guide for minimizing water damage to your property” for homeowners. Working with a team of consultants lead by Arcadis, we developed the Coastal Resilience Plan and accompanying “Existing Conditions and Coastal Risk Assessment” report through a process featuring significant public engagement. Several recommendations from the CRP are already completed, and more are underway or in development.

In 2020, the Select Board adopted our recommendation that “all Town Departments, Boards, Commissions and Committees and any service providers, contracted engineers and consultants need to be aware of and need to use the NOAA “High” scenario to accommodate current storm surge as well as Sea Level Rise in their decisions, deliberations and planning” and we have seen this recommendation implemented throughout Town departments and incorporated in updated plans.

My thanks to the Select Board for their commitment to safeguarding Nantucket’s future by establishing the Committee and to Town Administration for creating the Coastal Resilience Coordinator position and designating funds for both the Coastal Resilience Plan and implementation of its recommendations. It has been a joy to work with Vince Murphy, and with his successor Leah Hill. My thanks also to the CRAC members, especially those who have served all four years with me, for their support, dedication, and contributions.

Mary Longacre, 
Chair, Coastal Resilience Advisory Committee, 2019-2023

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