The Rich Are Vanquished Over ‘Sconset Beach Plan

Oh, how sad, the rich have been vanquished in Nantucket. A few months ago I wrote about the effort by some of Nantucket’s richest citizens to dredge sand from the ocean in order to prop up the cliffs beneath their seaside mansions on a bluff in Siasconset, and how this was being opposed by fishermen and others. The NY Times even had a story about this fight between ultra rich and everyone else.

Today I clicked over to and read about a vote–a landslide, actually, that hammered the idea back out to sea. On Tuesday, despite a monumental effort by the well-heeled ‘Sconset residents to convince the town of their good intentions, the idea was shot down 2986 to 470.

It’s just that there aren’t as many of these tony homeowners as those who sympathize with the fisherman. Bob DeCosta, a charter boat operator spearheaded the drive against the plan, saying that dredging is the wrong approach to stopping coastal erosion…and he and other fisherman were worried that losing the cobblestones at the ocean bottom would harm the fish that they chase each summer in their boats. Boats that are filled with equally rich visitors who aren’t lucky enough to own houses on the bluffs of ‘Sconset.

The effort to pass the non-binding yet key vote by the Siasconset Beach Preservation Fund was big—according to the paper, “residents were bombarded with mailings and postcards touting the benefits of beach nourishment, and they even hired a polling company to canvass the island in a door to door campaign.”

Kermit Roosevelt, the president of the SBPF said that the vote was premature, since the regulatory agencies haven’t officially weighed in, and that the fisherman and others ‘spread distortions and misinformation’ about the beach preservation.

But fisherman Pete Kaizer said he hoped that the selectman will react to the strong no vote, and that using town land (the beach) to help prop up the ‘Sconset mansions is not a good idea, in fact, he called it environmental destruction. Look for a more creative and less destructive proposal to show up soon, because these folks are determined to save their ocean front homes, one way or another.