State of the Coast

The Trustees 2nd Annual State of the Coast report highlights potential sea level rise and storm surge impacts on Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Gosnold, spotlights current strategies, and proposes future adaptations.

By 2050, more than 3,500 structures on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket may be impacted by storm flooding, and nearly 800 structures lost to erosion, according to The Trustees 2nd annual State of the Coast report.

“The impacts of flooding and erosion on these beloved Islands will affect thousands who live and work there, and the thousands more who visit each summer,” says Tom O’Shea, Trustees Managing Director of Resources and Planning. “To put this into perspective: today’s storm is tomorrow’s high tide. The storm surge from Winter Storm Riley in March 2018 produced a water level on Martha’s Vineyard that is roughly equivalent to the average height of the highest tide projected for 2050.”

The 44-page report, underwritten by ReMain Nantucket, highlights the climate change-driven impacts of sea level rise and storm flooding faced by Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Gosnold (Elizabeth Islands). These include impacts to beaches, salt marsh, developed areas like harbors and business districts, coastal banks, and habitats in Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Gosnold, Nantucket, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury.

To explore the report, or download a PDF copy, click here.

Explore the inaugural State of the Coast report, released in summer 2020, focused on 13 Coastal Zone communities on the North Shore.

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