Water Resources

Tuckernuck IslandConserving ground water, the sole source of drinking water, demands heightened attention as risks of pollution increase with population density. Also, tourism is the primary local industry, and its success, too, is directly related to extensive and undisturbed Island landscapes.

Therefore, the NLC advocates slow growth and open space preservation at every opportunity. These issues are not unique to Nantucket, however our geography as an island does create unique development pressures. One of our goals is to keep Nantucket from becoming like everywhere else. By providing clear, consistent, pertinent and compelling information for the community to consider, and by insisting that environmental laws and regulations be upheld, we can plan for the kind of future that we want.

Water Protection

Protecting our natural resources is of utmost importance to the survival of Nantucket’s citizens. In particular, water is Nantucket’s most valuable and most vulnerable natural resource. Human activities such as septic discharge, fuel spills, pesticides and fertilizer applications threaten to pollute both our harbors and our precious ground water, Nantucket’s sole source of drinking water. The NLC acts as a strict advocate for the protection of water resources. We commissioned a comprehensive water study, and many of the report’s recommendations have been implemented by the Town.  For more information on protecting water, visit our Water Protection Page or visit our interactive Nantucket Watershed Map.

Resource Protection Through Research

Research is a valuable tool in the protection of natural resources because it provides concrete evidence and support for environmentally sound policy and planning.

For more than three decades, the NLC has been a leader in ground water research. Our expert consultants often worked hand-in-hand with the Town, and our professional studies have resulted in improved local health regulations and enhanced protection for drinking water. Today, we continue to monitor water quality and hire expert consultants when required.