Official SUNY ESF DLA Off-Campus Blog

Creating Sustainable Island Communities by t.devlin
September 21, 2010, 10:28 am
Filed under: Martha's Vineyard 2010

The island currently faces many challenges that threaten its overall existence as a viable community.  The seasonal population flux in the high season causes congested roads, threatens overall island safety, and strains the island infrastructures.  Development pressure and pollution from residential septic systems and fertilizers have polluted the landscape. Mostly rural in character, the low density land use patterns encourage automobile dependency making the promotion of alternate means of transportation difficult.  With an abnormally high cost of living and real estate value, it is difficult to create sustainable year round communities.

However, as a result of the challenges the island faces there are a number of active groups working to keep the island environmentally healthy, safe, and culturally rich.  Specifically, many of the groups pictured above are dedicated to provide affordable island housing, promote and encourage island raised food, and to preserve the characteristics that make the island such a unique environment.  As a result of active planning, there are no roads over two lanes wide, stop lights, or parking meters on island.  A bus service runs regularly transporting people from town to town, and there is an extensive network of bike trails and multi use paths that offer alternatives to personal vehicular transportation.  Active planning on island ensures a positive future in which the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard can be experienced in a sustainable manner.

Until next time,



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