The Vineyard Conservation Society, holding its 55th annual meeting Wednesday, elected new officers and heard renewed calls for action to protect endangered open space.

“Conservation just is not competing successfully,” said executive director Brendan O’Neill. “The insidious part is that we are complacent. We’re lured into a falsehood when we travel around the Island and sense ample open space and assume it will stay that way. Yes, it is currently open, no, it is not all protected.”

Mr. O’Neill praised those involved in the recent purchase for conservation of Red Gate Farm in Aquinnah, but noted that another 16,000 acres of land on the Island could be lost to development.

“We have a moral obligation to protect the land that sustains us in so many ways, and this is our mission,” added outgoing president Jim Athearn.

Held on Zoom, the annual membership meeting of the environmental advocacy and educational group featured a slide show of conservation depicted in the arts.

Jennifer Blum was elected the new president, Bart Partington is vice president-treasurer and Bruce Golden is clerk.