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The Environmental Resort Project

Cape Cod is an ideal demonstration site for an environmental resort. Tourism is the area's primary industry. In addition, Cape Cod possesses globally important environmental qualities.

The majority of environmental resorts are located in tropical regions. None exist on the Atlantic coast. So Cape Cod would be a good location in which to establish an ecotourism destination.  With its whale watches, nature hikes, and education programs and as the site of the National Seashore, Cape Cod would be a logical place to build an environmental resort. 

With two grants obtained two grants from the Community Foundation of Cape Cod, the Center for Sustainability undertook a study of the feasibility of developing an environmental resort on Cape Cod. The investigating  process included a design workshop led by the Boston architect Gerard Ives with some twenty participants including developers, planners, environmentalists, and tourism industry professionals. Ives designed the innovative visitor centers at the Massachusetts Audubon Society Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary and was involved with the Center for Sustainable Building to develop guidelines for renovated residential buildings in Cambridge.

In addition to making a profit, an environmental resort could demonstrate new technologies and practices that conventional Cape Cod hotels, motels, and inns could adopt to further protect the Cape's environment as well as enhance the tourism industry and its marketability, create jobs, and improve business efficiency. Environmental tourism also could strengthen the image of Cape Cod as being a place unspoiled by modern development.

A 43-page report, An Environmental Resort for Cape Cod, prepared by James C. O'Connell of the Cape Cod Commission, is available from the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability.  To obtain a copy, write to


architectural rendering of resort

























page updated
March 07, 2006