Nantucket Preservation Symposium

Keeping History Above Water: Nantucket

June 26-28, 2019


June 19, 2019: Registration is currently full. Please email to be added to the wait list.

Nantucket Island has long looked to the ocean to determine its future. From fishing village to international whaling port to beloved seaside escape, the waters that surround Nantucket have always inspired. A National Historic Landmark with more than 800 pre-Civil War era historic structures, Nantucket is one of countless coastal communities who now must rethink its relationship with the sea.

Steamboat Wharf, the island’s link to the mainland, flooded by storm surge, 2018. Photo by Josh Gray.

Keeping History Above Water: Nantucket is a two-day workshop on Nantucket that will bring together members of the island community, stakeholders from other coastal communities across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and national experts to share experiences and case studies. On Day One, participants will learn from the successes and lessons of other historic coastal communities. Participants will turn their focus to Nantucket on Day Two, using state-of-the-art laser scanning models to help envision sea level rise and an old-fashioned roundtable discussion to propose solutions. The convening kicks off with keynote speaker Jeff Goodell, author of The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World. Donovan Rypkema, preservation economics expert, and James Balog of the film The Human Element are special presenters.

Envision Nantucket 3D laser scan of storm surge conditions.

This is the fifth iteration of Keeping History Above Water and is a partnership between the University of Florida, Nantucket Preservation Trust, and Town of Nantucket, in collaboration with the Newport Restoration Foundation.

The 2019 conference is presented by University of Florida: Preservation Institute Nantucket, Nantucket Preservation Trust and the Town of Nantucket, in collaboration with the Newport Restoration Foundation and ReMain Nantucket.

Registration for Keeping History Above Water: Nantucket is now open!    

Register as a Leadership Supporter to help sponsor this important symposium. 



For information or questions, please contact Mary Bergman at the Nantucket Preservation Trust:



Learn more about Keeping History Above Water here:



Community Foundation for Nantucket’s ReMain Nantucket Fund
Osceola Foundation
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management


Nantucket Island Resorts
Nantucket Yacht Club

Nantucket Hotel

Nantucket Land Council

Leadership Supporters

Barbara and Amos Hostetter

David and Mary Brown
Amanda Cross
Barbara J. Fife
Christian and Donna Hoffman
Craig and Ann Muhlhauser
John and Marie Sussek

Gale H. Arnold
Mary-Randolph Ballinger
Elizabeth Jacobsen

See highlights from our inaugural symposium here: