Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
In light of the wasteful expense, energy consumption and environmental damage related to moving the Schifter house, necessitated by severe beach erosion at Wasque, I would like to suggest a relatively inexpensive alternative which could save the house as well as the beach.
I propose that a surplus ship, about the size of the old Islander, be run ashore permanently on the southeastern tip of Wasque point. The ship would be oriented approximately north to south, perpendicular to the beach, and be flooded with water, sand, or concrete so it stays put on the bottom. By doing this, the ship would function like a groin or jetty to catch the easterly flow of sand that is coming from up-Island and is ending up in the growing sand bars between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
By placing a ship at this location, sand would naturally accumulate, the beach would grow and there would be no need for all the unfortunate waste and potential environmental damage that comes with moving this house.
If the house is moved, but nothing is done to stem the ongoing erosion of the south shore into Muskeget Channel, it will have to be moved again before long.
Given the quickly accumulating environmental conundrums facing the Island as a result of the ongoing development of the coast, isn’t it time to get creative and start thinking outside of the box?
Mal Jones, West Tisbury