The Nantucket Land Council held their 42nd Annual Meeting at the Nantucket Yacht Club on Aug 2nd. A brief business meeting presented achievements over the past year. Several board members were –reelected in accordance with the by-laws and one new member was elected to the board. Upon the conclusion of business, Mr. Collier introduced the featured speaker, Mr. Charles Costello, of the Mass Department of Environmental Protection. Mr. Costello recently completed a multi-year study of eelgrass, commissioned in part by the Nantucket Land Council and the Great Harbor Yacht Club. Mr. Costello has been using aerial photos and digital imagery to map all of the wetlands in Massachusetts and conducted three eelgrass mapping surveys of the entire Massachusetts coastline.
This study is of significant importance to Nantucket which is the last commercially viable fishery for bay scallops. Although we have seen a decline in healthy eelgrass beds due to the over fertilizing of lawns and out of date septic systems, there is still time to reverse this trend. The Nantucket Land Council and the Town of Nantucket are both working to educate residents and professionals on Best Management Practices for fertilizing as well as enforcing regulations.
Mr. Costello presented the results of his different eelgrass mapping surveys of Nantucket and highlight areas that have declined over the years to a He will also put the status of the Nantucket eelgrass resources in the context of surrounding estuarine systems. NLC members are encouraged to attend and the general public is welcomed.