The Trustees of Reservations have begun assembling “a representative working group inclusive of multiple stakeholders on the Island with a shared interest in crafting the next beach management plan (BMP),” according to a press release. The announcement comes after the Trustees abandoned a previous beach management plan in the wake of public backlash, including from Chris Kennedy, a former longtime Trustees official. The organization Consensus Building Institute will facilitate the working group, according to a release, and will help the group find solutions for over-sand vehicle (OSV) access and dog issues.
“The group will meet every three weeks beginning in October, and run through early winter,” a release states. “The meetings will be run by a professional facilitator and written summaries of each meeting will be posted to the Trustees’ website, and available to the public.”
The composition of the working group is planned to include:
- Edgartown Town officials (town manager, conservation agent, conservation commission)
- Cape Poge and other Chappaquiddick residents
- members of the M.V. conservation community
- members of the fishing and shellfishing community
- M.V. Beach Access Group
- an experienced beach manager from another community
- the Dukes County Commission
- the commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Martha’s Vineyard landowners
The various stakeholders for the working group will be selected by the Trustees, according to Trustees spokesman Aaron Gouveia.
“In October, the Trustees will share a public report that consolidates all the feedback to that point,” a release states. “This report will be posted publicly on the BMP landing page, and there will be additional chances for the public to weigh in, including but not limited to a public meeting in early 2023 when the working group will share an update on its progress. Then, once a draft is released, the broader public will have an opportunity to provide comment on the revised plan before it is finalized. Information about public meetings will be posted on the BMP webpage and @TheTrusteesMV social media accounts as soon as it is available. The goal is to have an approved draft that can be voted on by the Edgartown conservation commission, the county, and the sstate, to be finalized and put into effect by fall 2023 at the earliest.”