April 12, 2018
An Open Letter to the Residents of Nahant:
This week, Northeastern University received an open letter signed by a significant number of Nahant residents. We thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns. It is in the spirit of transparency and open dialogue that we are writing to you.
For more than 50 years, Northeastern has been proud to call Nahant home. Throughout this time, the university has worked diligently to be a good neighbor—collaborating with residents to strengthen and protect the coastal and marine resources that make Nahant truly unique.
We understand that Nahant is a special place. We greatly value our relationship with Nahanters, and we look forward to continuing that relationship for another 50 years—and beyond.
We are all aware of the threats posed by extreme weather, sea-level rise, climate change, and rising ocean temperatures. Northeastern researchers—among the best in the world—are working every day in Nahant to develop innovative solutions to these pressing global challenges.
To better confront these threats, Northeastern is committed to providing its faculty, students, and staff with enhanced facilities that will allow them to widen the impact of their path-breaking research. Simply put, the Marine Science Center’s existing facilities are not adequate to meet the threats that coastal communities, including Nahant, will face in the years to come.
Our current plans—which feature a low-rise addition built into Murphy Bunker—have been intentionally designed to minimize visual and environmental impacts. There remains ample opportunity for residents to make their views known as we begin to pursue the necessary local and state approvals. This includes issues related to sight lines, traffic, parking, and impact on local marine life—including the lobster fishery off of East Point.
To facilitate communication, we have created a dedicated website (nahant.northeastern.edu/) to serve as a primary channel for providing information and receiving input. We hope that you will review the Frequently Asked Questions, many of which seek to correct misconceptions about the university’s plans. Feel free to submit additional questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure that our interactions are productive, we encourage you to engage with those at the university who are directly involved in the planning and design of the proposed project, rather than with our Nahant-based scientists and scholars who are rightfully focused on their teaching and research.
While we welcome input from concerned residents, we must ultimately engage with Nahant’s elected and appointed officials for any formal discussions. Therefore, we encourage residents to not only communicate with the university, but also to work through their elected officials to express their views in the most productive way possible.
Northeastern is proud to have played a role in promoting conservation and preventing overdevelopment in Nahant when it was encouraged to acquire its property on East Point. We are confident that building an addition to an existing structure will have minimal disruptive impact on the community—both during construction and once operational.
Ultimately, we believe the powerful benefits to society developed at this new facility will make the Nahant community proud to be the home of Northeastern’s Marine Science Center.
Senior Vice President for External Affairs