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Current Initiatives


Connect • Reflect • Protect

VCS has worked for fifty years to protect the land and water of Martha’s Vineyard. The goal of the Connect • Reflect • Protect initiative is to strengthen the bonds between our human and natural communities, such that the next half-century may be even more successful than the last.

Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw

Six-for-Six! With the near-unanimous vote in Oak Bluffs, the "BYOB" bylaw has now been passed overwhelmingly in all six Island towns! This would not mean an end to all plastic bags, but is a step towards less plastic in our waste stream, and a reduction in land and marine pollution. We also see this as an opportunity for our community to think about our consumption habits and how we might better use our resources.

VCS provides direction and facilitation to property owners on conserving land. We advocate in the regulatory review process on behalf of saving open space, farmland, habitat, and natural resources like clean water.

Local farms define rural character, maintain a link with the past, and promise a more sustainable future. VCS has worked for decades to conserve our prime farm soils and rejuvenate local farming using Agricultural Preservation Restrictions (APRs) and other tools. Building partnerships with towns and colleagues has been a formula for success at places like the new Ag Hall, Nip 'n' Tuck, Morning Glory, Native Earth and Katama Farms.

Clean Water Initiative

VCS is continuing a multi-year public awareness campaign to advocate for clean water and a coordinated wastewater management plan to reverse the decline in health of the Vineyard’s Great Ponds.

Part of keeping our waters clean involves persuading Island residents and businesses to avoid chemical lawn fertilizers and encourage use of native grasses and plantings.

The VCS Winter Walks Program offers monthly guided walks during the winter months on private lands, many conserved under VCS auspices. All walks are free and open to the public.

Climate Change Adaptation 
Some of the greatest impacts of global climate change will be felt at the coasts. VCS is promoting community awareness about the local environmental impacts we can expect and plan for.

Island-Wide Recycling Initiative 

Part of VCS’s broad definition of conservation involves promoting Island-wide coordination of solid waste disposal and enhanced recycling capabilities in all Island towns.

Zero Waste Events

VCS, in partnership with Slow Food Martha's Vineyard, has worked to spread information about reducing waste at public events. Click the link above for resources to help make your next event a Zero Waste Event.