APCC’s Cyanobacteria Program 2020

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.

Cyanobacteria Public Service Announcement

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 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.

Deadly Pond Toxins Return – Lower Cape TV

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.

Wicked Local: APCC: Beware ‘cyano’ blooms in Cape ponds

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

Cape Cod Times: Cape Cod ponds test positive for toxic bacteria

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.

WCAI: Toxic Blue-Green Algae Blooms Spread in Cape Ponds

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

APCC’s Cyanobacteria Monitoring Season is Underway

APCC’s Cyanobacteria Monitoring Season is Underway

It’s APCC’s fourth season of monitoring cyanobacteria in freshwater ponds on Cape Cod. Toxic blooms have been detected in some of the Cape’s ponds that you should be aware of. Walkers Pond in Brewster and Deep Pond in Falmouth are two examples and in both cases, the town’s health department has posted advisory signs for children and pets. To view APCC’s monitoring results and for more information on cyanobacteria, go to

The Barnstable Patriot: New garden blooming (soon) at Cotuit Library

While the doors have remained closed, outside, construction of a new garden has been underway at the Cotuit Library. Like all non-essential businesses and institutions, the library has been closed since March; but while everything else in society seems to have slowed down, construction has been able to proceed at pace. Full Article

Herring River Downstream

Herring Headed Home. It’s the end of May and adult herring have done what they came to do, which is to spawn in the Cape’s freshwater ponds. They are returning to coastal waters where they live. Notice that they go tail first over the fish ladder spillway. Video by Gerald Beetham, music is “Die Moldau” from Ma Vlast by Bedrich Smetana.

Three Bays Stormwater Project – an introduction

This is a short slide video as introduction to a multi-year project funded by Southeast New England Program and Coastal Zone Management that began in 2016. The goal is to improve water quality in the three bay area on Cape Cod in the town of Barnstable through the assessment of stormwater problems and the actual design and construction of few improvements employing green infrastructure practices. For more information about the project go to

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