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.
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.
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.
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.
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 an introduction to a multi-year project funded by Southeast New England Program and Coastal Zone Management that began in 2016.
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod and the town of Barnstable have partnered through Barnstable Channel 18 to create a series of informational videos.