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.
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 https://apcc.org/threebays/index.html
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod and the town of Barnstable have partnered through Barnstable Channel 18 to create a series of informational videos. The goal of the series is to educate and inform members of the public about what they can do to help keep our waters clean. The first video in the series provides an introduction to stormwater management. Stormwater 101!
It’s early May on Cape Cod and herring are continuing to move from the ocean up estuaries to freshwater streams that lead to ponds where they spawn and then they will return back to their saltwater world. Here’s an up-close and personal view of the anadromous herring on their mission to ensure the survival of their species.
Filmed and edited by Gerald Beetham.
HARWICH — In placing the burden for wastewater cleanup and prevention on the shoulders of the US Environmental Protection Agency instead of state agencies, a recent US Supreme Court decision could spur Cape and Islands towns to significantly pick up the pace in addressing contamination of ponds and bays by nutrients and other contaminants from septic systems and treatment plants. Full Article
This talk (delivered remotely) included a brief summary of Association to Preserve Cape Cod’s cyanobacteria monitoring program history, methods, purpose, and plans for expansion in future seasons.
Association to Preserve Cape Cod’s Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program – a presentation given by Bryan Horsley, Restoration Technician and Cyanobacteria Program Manager for the Association to Preserve Cape Cod at the Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative Mini-Conference on January 16, 2020 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.
Tougher standards would apply to drinking water, contaminated site cleanups.
BOSTON — After pondering restrictions on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances for most of the year, the Baker-Polito administration on Friday filed draft regulations that would establish enforceable standards on public drinking water systems. Full Article
A minute underwater video by Gerald Beetham of adult herring in May 2019.
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
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.