Save Our Sound
From Development Threats
While Cape Wind is no longer a threat, the waters in the center of Nantucket Sound remain open to industrialization and leasing by the federal government. Inappropriate industrial development within these waters would disrupt fish migration, threaten habitat, endanger navigational safety, disturb indigenous history, and destroy burial sites.
State waters, which extend 3 miles from the shores of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, are protected under Massachusetts law, but federal waters in the center are vulnerable. Unless the Sound, an environmentally sensitive body of water, is permanently protected, it faces a future of industrial activity, especially as ocean-based technology develops. The 1961 establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore safeguarded this exceptional place from development. The same must be done for Nantucket Sound to ensure it remains the national treasure it is today.
Federal legislation – the Nantucket Sound National Historic Landmark Act – would extend the jurisdiction of Massachusetts to Nantucket Sound for limited purposes—specifically, the Massachusetts Ocean Sanctuaries Act (MOSA) and the Act to Promote Energy Diversity. This has already been done for fisheries management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The bill would require federal authority to be exercised in a manner that is consistent with existing state law.
Massachusetts Ocean Sanctuaries Act
MOSA protects designated state ocean sanctuaries from any “exploitation, development or activity that would seriously alter or otherwise endanger the ecology or the appearance of the ocean, the seabed or subsoil thereof, or the Cape Cod National Seashore.”