Group Battles Cape Cod Nitrogen Pollution

CapeCodOnline reports on the efforts of the Pleasant Bay Alliance of Chatham, Massachusetts, to control the release of excess nitrogen from old septic systems and lawn and garden fertilizer from entering the watershed and ultimately polluting of the Cape’s estuaries, including Pleasant Bay. Excess nitrogen fuels the growth of algae in shallow waters, preventing sunlight from reaching native vegetation and using up available oxygen during the decomposition process.

Here’s an excerpt:

Controlling the size and looks of lawns around Pleasant Bay could save taxpayers money in cleaning up the saltwater bay so many enjoy.

Using less fertilizer on existing lawns and golf courses could cut an estimated 5 percent of the amount of nitrogen now polluting the bay shared by the towns of Orleans, Chatham, Brewster and Harwich, according to the management plan prepared for the Pleasant Bay Alliance by consultants Horsley Witten Group Inc.

New bylaws or regulations to limit the size of new lawns on land around the bay could cut another 1 to 2 percent, the study says.

To read more:

Cape Cod Times

Pleasant Bay Resource Management Alliance

Pleasant Bay Fertilizer Management Plan: Final Report

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