Health Plan Launched for Barnstable’s Lake Wequaquet

Lake Wequaquet, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

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Cape Cod-based Woods Hole Group has announced a new partnership with the town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, to protect the long-term future of Lake Wequaquet.

The Woods Hole Group, an environmental science and engineering firm headquartered in Falmouth, Massachusetts, will be monitoring Lake Wequaquet to inventory phosphorous sources, and to develop a long-term management plan to help the town address multiple uses and the sustainability of the lake for years to come.

Photo/Wequaquet Lake Protective Association (wequaquetlake.com)

Wequaquet, the largest lake in Barnstable at over 600 acres, is renowned for its beauty and recreational opportunities. A 2009 water-quality study of the lake indicated that while its water was healthy, there was a need for supplemental information and data regarding sediment chemistry and other factors that affect the future health of the lake.

“We’ve had great water quality over the years at Lake Wequaquet, and that has been great for the amount of recreation we see,” said Rob Gatewood, Barnstable Town Conservation Agent. “We take water quality seriously in Barnstable, and even though no impairment was signaled in the 2009 study, we wanted to bring in Woods Hole Group in an effort to ensure Wequaquet is a healthy lake for years to come.”

“Part of the project’s first phase, which began this summer, will be to analyze the phosphorous levels in the lake groundwater and sediments, and to develop an improved understanding of the lake’s sediment chemistry,” said Dr. Jerome Cura, Senior Scientist/Ecological Risk Assessor with Woods Hole Group. “Field sediment sampling and investigation, rainwater and groundwater sampling, and sediment mapping activities are in process to better understand sources and sinks of Phosphorous.”

Woods Hole Group will collect and analyze the data to form a long-term management plan for Lake Wequaquet. This management plan will serve as a primer for action the Town of Barnstable can take to keep the lake balanced and healthy in the future. The findings may also produce information to improve management of other lakes in the region.

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