Faculty Advisor

Golding, Dominic

Faculty Advisor

Selkow, Stanley M.

Project Center

Nantucket, Massachusetts


The island of Nantucket experiences extreme coastal erosion and property owners have built various types of coastal erosion structures to try and limit adverse impacts. The goal of this project was to find, categorize, and conduct a preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of existing structures. Through reviews of permit information and aerial photographs, site visits, stakeholder interviews, we created a comprehensive database and an interactive map of 72 coastal erosion structures on the island. We conclude that ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ erosion structures may inhibit erosion in the short term over a limited spatial extent, but effectiveness varies dramatically by location and many structures have unintended proximal impacts.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

December 2014

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Interdisciplinary Programs

Advisor Department

Computer Science