In early August, carpenter Michael Forgione told his mother that he was heading out to go crabbing in the brackish waters of Chilmark Pond on Martha’s Vineyard. Carol Forgione, a 72-year-old nurse practitioner, wished him a good catch. “This is the pond,” she said on a recent visit. “This is the entrance that he went into. And then the public entrance is just down the road.” Full Article
Cape Cod’s freshwater ponds are the home of turtles. Self-taught naturalist and author of The Turtle Sisters, Susan Baur, swims the Cape’s freshwater ponds and has taken a keen interest in observing the lives of turtles beneath the surface of the water. This is video is by Susan of a musk turtle. She visits the ponds frequently enough that she recognizes them as individuals, and they recognize her.
Coastal plain ponds are ecologically unique and a globally rare habitat. We have coastal plain ponds here on Cape Cod, proving once again that we live in a very special place. The Cape’s freshwater ponds are connected to groundwater, which is recharged by the rain and snow that falls and soaks into the ground. Unlike other parts of the country where streams and rivers fill the ponds and lakes, it is precipitation that replenishes our freshwater on Cape Cod. (download PDF) Full Article
If you have a swim float, a float at the end of your dock, or maybe a float on your mooring, have you looked at it lately? Most likely it’s made with buoyant blocks of blue polystyrene. Read more (PDF) …
Photo Credit: Collage by Suzanna Nickerson, photo by Gerald Beetham.
New video from APCC on the cyanobacteria monitoring program. Special thanks to Joshua Maloney.
Cape Cod’s freshwater ponds are special ecosystems that offer beauty and recreational enjoyment. However, poor water quality and warming temperatures is contributing to cyanobacteria blooms whose toxicity can be harmful to pets, humans and wildlife. APCC started a program in 2017 that monitors freshwater ponds for these cyanobacteria blooms. With the help of APCC summer interns, volunteers, pond associations and several towns, we are sampling ponds and reporting out to the public and town officials so that warnings can be posted when warranted.
A public service announcement about cyanobacteria on Cape Cod from the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. APCC monitors over 50 ponds on Cape Cod for cyanobacteria blooms and post the status of these ponds on an interactive map at APCC.org. When high levels are detected, we notify the town officials where the pond is located, so they can take the appropriate action to warn the public.
17 July 2020 — BREWSTER, MA — The Association to Preserve Cape Cod confirmed toxin-producing cyanobacteria blooms in two Brewster ponds earlier this year and expects to find more throughout the summer and into the fall. Cyanotoxins harm humans through ingestion, airborne exposure and direct contact while dogs and wildlife can die from drinking toxic pond water.
It has been a busy season so far for APCC’s Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program. With pond temperatures rising quickly in the transition from spring to summer, Association to Preserve Cape Cod this week confirmed the emergence of toxic cyanobacteria scums in five ponds across the Cape: Walkers and Cliff ponds in Brewster, Mares and Deep ponds in Falmouth, and Long Pond in Marstons Mills. Full Article
2 ponds in Barnstable closed to swimming as testing continues. Recent testing of approximately 70 of the Cape’s 996 ponds and lakes revealed the presence of toxic bacteria in a handful of them. These cyanobacteria are naturally occurring and produce toxins that can harm dogs and humans. Their proliferation is being aided by global warming and nutrient pollution by septic systems and stormwater runoff.
In five ponds across the Cape, high concentrations of blue-green algae blooms are raising concerns about dangerous levels of toxins they produce. Blue-green algae blooms, also known as cyanobacteria scums, can make the water of a pond look like pea soup, though usually the growths are natural and harmless parts of ecosystems. Full Article