Feds: new evidence may put Nantucket Sound on Historic Register


Nantucket Sound is eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, a determination that Cape Wind opponents say should prompt the denial or relocation of the wind turbine project.

The National Park Service announced Monday that its keeper of the register had determined the sound’s eligibility due to its significance as a “traditional cultural property and as an historic and archeological property,” based on its associations with the ancient and historic period of Native American exploration and settlement of Cape Cod and the Islands, and with events central to the Wampanoag Tribe. “America’s vast offshore wind resources offer exciting potential for our clean energy economy and for our nation’s efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. “But as we begin to develop these resources, we must ensure that we are doing so in the right way and in the right places.” Mr. Salazar added that “final consultations and analysis” would be undertaken and said it was “now time to move the Cape Wind proposal to a final decision point.” The project involves 130 turbines over 25 square miles.

The park service decision does not conclude the effort to get Cape Wind permitted. Mr. Salazar said he planned to gather the “principal parties” next week to consider the new findings and “to discuss how we might find a common sense agreement on actions that could be taken to minimize and mitigate Cape Wind’s potential impacts on historic and cultural resources.” He said he hopes an agreement can be reached by March 1.