APCC initiated a program to reduce the use of pesticides across Cape Cod. The Cape’s sensitive water resources are particularly vulnerable to potential impacts from different forms of contamination, including contamination from the application of pesticides. Before an education and outreach campaign begins, an effort is underway to better understand the types and amounts of pesticides used in the region by businesses and residents. APCC is also actively promoting the use of native landscapes and ecological land care practices. The plants native to our region are best suited for our soils and climate and typically have reduced needs for water and fertilizers. And, they support local wildlife and provide a “sense of place.”
During the summer of 2011, APCC conducted a literature review of pesticide use across the country. The review revealed a wide discrepancy in published reports on rates of use and on the list of products being studied. One general conclusion was reached: most people use pesticides in some form, although many reports failed to provide important details like the difference between indoor and outdoor uses. Our literature search found that one of the most hazardous sites for pesticides is the backyard shed. One study found that as many as 10% of garden sheds may actually store banned substances, like DDT.