About NOM

We publish reliable, trusted information for people who love and care about Nantucket, so they can better understand their role in its continued sustainability as both a community and a destination.

Some aspects of life on Nantucket have never been better. Half the island is forever-preserved by several conservation groups. There are plenty of jobs. Cultural and entertainment options abound. And for many people, especially those who are secure in their housing, life is financially and socially rewarding.

But on the other hand, a shortage of both affordable housing and year-round accessible housing at every price point is reaching critical levels, with year-round ownership and rentals in sharp decline. All while the island population is growing. Short-term vacation rentals, which admittedly supply millions to the island’s economy are also causing noise, overcrowding and disruption to neighborhoods. And there is some evidence that they are contributing to a decline in housing. Substance abuse and depression plague island families. Development — along with the traffic and congestion that comes with it — is growing. Sea-level rise threatens the island’s well being with every major storm. And the scallop harvest and water quality continue to decline.

Add to that the fact that Town Meeting can sometimes derail a good idea or slow needed actions and is often held hostage by people who don’t possess all the facts.

These are very real problems and we believe all problems have a solution if good people are willing to come together and work to find them. But we can’t solve anything if no one trusts the information, data and ideas that are being offered. That’s why we’re here.

Nantucket Owner’s Manual — A guide to leaving the island better than we found it, is an idea that came out of a particularly contentious annual town meeting fueled by online discussions that have been filled with misinformation and bias. Our goal: to provide the island with facts and ideas that it can trust and use to make sound decisions. We do not advocate. We do not dabble in politics. Our goal is to provide information.

A scientific approach. NOM is modeled after academic journals; we seek to create a clearinghouse of ideas that have been vetted and peer-reviewed by the best island minds in a range of areas. Real estate and development, construction, healthcare, ecology, non-profits, sustainability, mental health, business and more. Like any scientific paper, the ideas in NOM may be novel. They definitely have a point of view, and it is the role of peer-review advisors to test and question that point of view. Also, like any scientific journal, we will accept papers from outside sources and work to test the ideas they contain. This is hard work, but so needed during a time when so much is having an impact on the island’s future.

Some of the ideas and themes we will explore include:

  • Housing, accessible and affordable housing, ownership and rental
  • The mental health of the island
  • Climate change
  • The arts
  • Water quality
  • Community and neighborhoods
  • Economics and sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Open space, natural resources, hikes and diversions
  • Future generational needs
  • Energy and infrastructure

This publication is a product of SAND. It will accept no advertising and will only accept funding from neutral sources — there will be no pay-to-play opportunities through NOM. You can support us on Patreon.

The idea behind NOM