Cape Cod Watershed Series Sheds Light on Pollution

A new series of forums on the Cape's watersheds will focus on nitrogen pollution. Photo by ##http://newenglandboating.com/author/tom## Tom Richardson##

The Cape Cod Commission will be continuing its series of public forums to focus on the importance and health of the Cape’s major watersheds, and how individuals can reduce nitrogen pollution.

Cross Boundary Embayments. Illustration courtesy Cape Cod Commission.

More than 156,000 homes exist on Cape Cod, according to the CCC’s website, and about 85 percent of them use individual septic systems (known as Title 5 systems in Massachusetts). Although these systems filter out biological contaminants, they do not filter out nitrogen from human waste. Excess nitrogen leaching into the groundwater and running underground through our watersheds has impaired coastal water quality. The impact is evident in excess algae production, the loss of eel grass and shellfish, and noxious conditions.

Cape Cod’s watersheds are determined by groundwater flow lines. They do not follow town boundaries. Most are shared by two or more towns. Solutions to the management of nitrogen in wastewater must recognize these watersheds if they are to be cost effective and implemented at the appropriate scale.

The series of forums will be held at the following locations through November:

Nitrogen entering the watershed from home septic systems has a profound affect on marine ecosystems. Photo by ##http://newenglandboating.com/author/tom## Tom Richardson##

LEWIS BAY FORUM

  • October 7 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Mattacheese Middle School Auditorium, West Yarmouth

BASS RIVER FORUM

  • October 21 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Dennis-Yarmouth High School Auditorium, Yarmouth

POPPONESSET BAY FORUM

  • October 28 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Mashpee Town Hall, Mashpee

HERRING RIVER FORUM

  • November 18 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Harwich Middle School Auditorium, Harwich

WAQUOIT BAY FORUM

  • November 30 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Mashpee Public Library, Mashpee

For more information:

http://www.capecodcommission.org/watertour/home.htm