Beach erosion. Nantucket planner Andrew Vorce told a story that could have been about any Cape and Islands town. Before the late 19th century, Nantucket natives knew it was wiser to build their homes far from the eroding bluffs on the southern and eastern ends of the island.

But as improved ferries brought more people to the island for recreation and relaxation, and train service was added to carry them to those scenic beaches, houses sprang up on the deserted shores. Summer cottages became significant homes.

“The locals predicted everything would end up in the ocean. Turns out they were right,” Vorce, the director of planning for the Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission, told an audience of municipal and regional officials gathered Tuesday [September 24, 2013] in Hyannis for the Cape Cod and Islands Climate Change and Energy Conference.

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