Report predicts near decimation of Coskata-Coatue by 2070

(April 11, 2022) The two conservation organizations that own the vast majority of Coatue and Coskata are seeking to take action to protect the low barrier beach from erosion, following a report by the Woods Hole Group predicting that it will be almost entirely decimated by 2070.

The concern is that the loss of Coatue could mean the opening of Nantucket Harbor to the ocean, potentially increasing erosion along its southern shore and jeopardizing the marine habitat that depends on it.

“If we didn’t have Coatue there, our north shore on the harbor, which is experiencing some erosion, would be completely open to Nantucket Sound and would experience a lot more erosion,” said Jen Karberg, an ecologist at the Conservation Foundation. . “The port would either not exist or drastically alter water patterns.”

A new Woods Hole Group report commissioned by the Foundation and Trustees now lays the groundwork for protecting four vulnerable areas between Wauwinet, Great Point and Coatue Point. These are Coskata Pond, the Haulover just north of Wauwinet, the Galls just south of Great Point, and a narrow strip of beach between First and Second points on Coatue.

Preparations described in the report range from planting beach grass to stabilizing dunes. They would be funded by both organizations. Karberg hopes additional funds can come from the city, state or a Boston University grant program.

“We need to protect these natural resources,” added the city’s coastal resilience coordinator, Vince Murphy. “Anywhere from Wauwinet down, if there’s a breach, they suffer.”

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