In The News
HYANNIS — Add drought to COVID-19, sharks and a faltering economy on the list of daunting issues affecting Cape Cod this summer. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs declared the Cape to be under Level 1 mild drought conditions last month. A Level 1 drought condition is declared when rainfall has been below normal for between one and two months, river and stream flows decline, fire danger is elevated and gardens begin to wilt.
With summer well underway, higher temperatures coupled with nutrient overload in kettle ponds and lakes brings the dangerous return of cyanobacteria blooms, also known as blue-green algae. As of Tuesday, Aug. 4, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) reported 10 of the ponds it monitors as having “high” levels of cyanobacteria and two water sources with “moderate” levels. None of those were on the Outer Cape.
Boston Globe: As temperatures rise, a ‘nightmare’ of toxic algae plagues the hidden gems of Cape Cod
BARNSTABLE — Fifteen years ago, when Sandra Bolton and her husband bought their three-bedroom Cape overlooking the serene waters of Shubael Pond, their view was like “heaven on Earth,” she said. Few summer days passed when they didn’t take a dip.
But in recent years they began to notice a guacamole-colored scum marring the previously clear waters. Last summer, just as temperatures were increasing and the pond beckoned, local officials banned swimming there after finding toxic algae blooms that can be harmful if ingested, inhaled, or touched.
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. Full Article
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
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
WBUR: Federal Officials Say Vineyard Wind Project Must Address Potential Environmental Impacts Before Continuing
The saga of the Vineyard Wind project continues. Federal regulators have put a lengthy hold on what was supposed to be the nation’s first industrial-sized offshore wind farm while conducting a detailed assessment of the environmental impacts of all potential offshore wind projects down the East Coast. Full Audio
HARWICH — The Conservation Law Foundation and the Wychmere Beach Club have agreed to a proposed settlement in a lawsuit filed by CLF alleging that the resort was illegally discharging pollution into marine waters. The settlement would result in reduced pollution, new efforts to address nitrogen sources and protect the Wychmere Harbor Watershed, according to a press release from CLF. Full Article
Tensions between local environmentalists and housing advocates have long played out in battles to preserve local land while making sure people can afford to live on Cape Cod. Full Article
Looking for older news?
We created an “In The News” archive page with APCC news mentions prior to 2019.