Wicked Local: APCC: Herring counts show mixed results

An analysis by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod of the 2019 volunteer spring herring counts show the results to be a mixed bag containing both good and bad news. They indicate that river herring populations on Cape Cod have not recovered and still need protection as well as restoration of their habitat. Full Article

My Title 5 septic system is working fine. What’s the problem?

Answer:  Title 5 septic systems are designed to protect public health by removing solids and bacteria from sewage. The design does not remove nitrogen and phosphorus, which are the nutrients that are causing poor water quality in our ponds and embayments.

Solids are collected in the septic tank and the remaining liquid flows into the leaching field which soaks into the ground, ultimately reaching groundwater. This liquid contains high concentrations of dissolved nitrogen and some phosphorus, among other things put down the drain.

The nitrogen and phosphorus-rich liquid percolates down through soil to the groundwater that flows into our ponds and embayments. On Cape Cod, septic systems are the major source of excess nutrients contributing to poor water quality, followed by fertilizers and stormwater runoff.

What is your town doing about its wastewater problem? See State of the Waters Action Plan to see what needs to be done.

Cape Cod Times: Toxic algae bloom in Mashpee spreading to Santuit River

A section of the Santuit River that zigzags behind houses in a wooded area in Mashpee has turned bright green, causing an uproar among residents.

“I think at the end of the day, it’s going to take a public uprising about water quality, whether it’s Santuit (Pond)or other places as well, to create the political will necessary for towns to take the hard steps needed to solve these problems,” said Andrew Gottlieb, a Mashpee selectman who is also executive director of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. Full Article

Silent Spring Institute Presents “Environmental Health and Prevention Science – A Research Update”

Silent Spring - A Research Update“A study of health effects from exposure to PFAS in drinking water in two communities in Eastern MA—Hyannis and Ayer,” Laurel Schaider, Research Scientist, Environmental Chemistry and Engineering.

Screening chemicals for breast cancer risk: Anew tool for improving chemical safety testing and developing safer products,” Ruthann Rudel, Director of Research, Toxicology and Risk Assessment

What: Environmental Health and Prevention Science – A Research Update
Who: Silent Spring Institute
When: December 11th, 2019 12:00-1:30 PM (lunch will be served)
Where: Barnstable Town Hall, 2nd Floor Hearing Room 367 Main Street, Hyannis, MA (directions)
Cost: Free

For more information, contact: Cheryl Osimo (508) 246-3047

Cyanobacteria Blooms in Santuit Pond

Santuit Pond

Isn’t this a beautiful drone shot of the fall colors looking down onto Santuit Pond in Masphee? But take a closer look! A cyanobacteria bloom clouds the water and has been making the water murky for several weeks.

Santuit Pond

While cyanobacteria are a part of a pond ecosystem, these thick blooms that can appear as pea soup, snotty scum and look like someone spilled blue-green paint on the surface of the water signify a problem. Certain cyanobacteria always indicate toxic conditions and pose health problems for wildlife, pets and people.

Santuit Pond

Avoid contact and certainly don’t let your dog swim here. If your dog does come in contact with the pond scum, wash thoroughly with clean water and call your vet immediately if your dog experiences vomiting, drooling, or other illness. Town of Mashpee has posted a cyanobacteria advisory.

Santuit Pond

We saw several blooms this past summer because warm temperatures also help stimulate growth. Daily temperatures in October were mostly all above average, so apparently we’re not out of the woods yet and it’s November!

For more information on cyanobacteria monitoring on the Cape, visit

State of the Waters: Cape Cod 2019

APCC’s executive director, Andrew Gottlieb, announces the release of the State of the Waters: Cape Cod 2019 report. Most of the Cape’s embayments and ponds have water quality problems.

APCC Presents “State of the Waters” hosted by the Sturgis Library

Cape Cod is connected by water. The groundwater we depend on for drinking water also fills our nearly 1,000 freshwater ponds, part of an extensive water network, many of these ponds drain to over 40 freshwater rivers and streams that discharge to 53 estuaries along 559 miles of coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod Bay, Nantucket Sound and Buzzards Bay.

So, how healthy are our waters? What do we know about the quality of the Cape’s waters and what don’t we know? With funding from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod set out to answer these questions by gathering and evaluating existing water quality data and then making this information available to the public. APCC’s executive director, Andrew Gottlieb will share the findings and explain “STATE OF THE WATERS: Cape Cod.”

What: State of the Waters
When: October 22nd, 2019 6:30 PM
Where: Sturgis Library, 3090 Main Street, Barnstable Village (directions)
Cost: Free

To register call 508-362-6636, email or register online.

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