Nantucket homeowners group agrees to remove their hotly contested erosion shield

INTO THE RED: Climate and the fight of our lives As the seas stripped away the earth beneath their homes, a group of Nantucket homeowners mobilized to

protect their land. Their solution: massive tubes made of plastic fiber and filled with hardening sand slurry, stretching across some 900 feet of beach to serve as a shield from

the encroaching waters. But the privately funded project, which the homeowners began to install 10 years ago, catalyzed a long and bitter rift as neighbors raised the alarm

about its environmental impact elsewhere on the island. Now, the homeowners group from Siasconset, on the eastern end of Nantucket, has reluctantly agreed to dismantle the

multimillion dollar project, seeing no way around a permit violation order calling for its removal. The move could bring an end to a heated, 10-year fight over how to grapple with

climate threats on the island. In a Jan. 9 letter to Nantucket’s town manager and Select Board, Josh Posner, president of the homeowners group, the Siasconset Beach

Preservation Fund, wrote that his organization will remove the geotubes in compliance with a 2021 order from Nantucket’s Conservation Commission — “no matter how foolish removal

may be.” Posner proposed the town abandon its heavily criticized plan to partner with his group to expand the project. Nantucket’s Select Board agreed, and the conservation

commission unanimously approved the withdrawal at a Thursday evening meeting.